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Bitter Temperatures Keep Tri-State Area In Deep Freeze

A woman walks down the street on one of the coldest days of the year on January 22, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A woman walks down the street on one of the coldest days of the year on January 22, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Bitter arctic air has a firm grip on the Tri-State Area and isn’t about to let go anytime soon.

The forecast high for Thursday is all of 22 degrees, with wind chills once again making it feel much colder.

Temperatures remained well below freezing across the region Wednesday, and will stay that way through Sunday, CBS 2’s Lonnie Quinn reported.

Snow is also possible on Friday.

The temperatures in New York City, the northern suburbs and on Long Island stayed in the teens for most of the day, but felt like the single-digits thanks to the wind chill.

On Wednesday evening, while skies were clear, the temperature was a mere 15 degrees with the wind chill making it feel like 6.

Statistically, this is the coldest two-week period the New York metro area sees each year. But even given that, the average high is 38, while the high on Wednesday was only 20.

On Wednesday morning, many spots were in the single digits, or even the negative range. Monticello came in at minus 4; West Milford, N.J. at 6, and Newburgh at 7, CBS 2’s Quinn reported.

Check: Forecast & Alerts | Listen: 1010 WINS | WCBS 880

The cold temperatures have made things especially difficult on the tenants at 25 Sherman Ave., in Jersey City.  Residents there have been complaining for months about not having heat and hot water.

“My apartment is terrible for this very cold. I have three heaters. It’s terrible,” one resident told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg.

“If it’s not one thing, it’s the other.  They cut out the gas then there’s no hot water, if there’s hot water, but then there’s no heater. It’s horrible,” said another tenant.

The city has cited the landlord and is now taking him to court.

Residents were also without heat at a New York City Housing Authority building in the Red Hook East development in Brooklyn.

“You either have hot water, not any heat at all, or you have heat where they’re cooking you, and it’s so hot you have to open your windows or put on your air conditioner because you can’t breathe,” former Community Board member Judith Daly told 1010 WINS’ Holli Haerr. “So it’s one extreme or the other. Right now, it’s nothing.”

Daly said the problem has persisted for a couple of days now. She said NYCHA representatives have been coming by, but have yet to fix the problem.

The temperatures made things especially difficult for commuters who had to walk or wait for their bus or train.

“It’s kind of tough, especially in the night-time it gets real bad, temperatures start to drop, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do,” said one commuter.

“Got two pants. I got three layers on top of me plus my coat,” striking school bus driver Luis Borda in Washington Heights, told WCBS 880 reporter Paul Murnane.

“Layers are the secret, definitely. I have long johns on, thermal shirt. I got a hooded jacket on,” construction worker Nick DeStefano told WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs.

“You feel like you get slapped in the face, the wind just keeps hitting you, it’s a non-stop wind,” a sanitation worker told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg. “It’s so cold the rats are afraid, they’re hibernating right now.”

The frigid weather can also be dangerous for anyone working outside. Forecasters said prolonged exposure to the arctic air can cause frostbite and hypothermia.

Experts advised protecting exposed areas by wearing hats and gloves and dressing in layers.

Thousands in the areas hit hardest by Superstorm Sandy are still living without heat during these dangerously cold days.

In the Rockaways at the Ocean Village apartments in Arverne, generators hum about half the time.

“It’s cold, like we outside, because once the generator’s out, that’s it. No power, no lights, anything, no heat,” Sandra Green told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman.

“You can only live for a certain period of time in the freezing cold. So it’s not a case of how you suffer in the freezing cold, you die in freezing cold,” said Brian Heffernan a couple of miles west on Beach 91st Street.

In Lindenhurst, Long Island where Gary Nankervis still doesn’t have heat, he is using space heaters to warm his home. Nankervis said he has to wear a coat, hat, gloves and boots inside to make it bearable.

He has been waiting for months for his bank to release his insurance money so he can afford to finish his home that was flooded and destroyed by Sandy, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported.

“It’s horrible. I got to get baseboards. I need to get the spackle finished and put baseboards in but I need money from the bank,” Nankervis told Hall.

He hopes within the next few weeks he will have his heat restored.

“I went through $45,000 of my own money,” Nankervis said.

Across the street, another family is living with the same ordeal. They are using a wood burning stove to heat their two-story house.

To help those without heat, warming centers have been opened in New York City and on Long Island.

In the city, warming centers are operating in all five boroughs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

Click here for a full list of locations.

In Nassau County, warming centers will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hicksville Community Center in Hicksville, the Oyster Bay Community Center in Oyster Bay and the Marjorie R. Post Community Center in Massapequa. More information can be found by calling 866-927-6233.

In the Town of Southampton, warming centers are operating Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. They’re located in the Flanders Community Center, the Hampton Bays Senior Center and the Bridgehampton Community Center.

In Yonkers, the Red Cross has been helping families find shelter after a fire forced 33 people into the cold. No injuries were reported following the fire at a four-story building on Hawthorne Avenue at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday. Forty-six firefighters from 10 companies battled the stubborn blaze for over two hours. The cause was not immediately determined.

In New Jersey, forecasters say the temperature and wind could combine to make it feel like it’s near 15 degrees below zero in the elevated regions.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker warned residents to be careful in the extreme cold.

“This is a very dangerous time and we want people to err on the side of caution,” Booker told WCBS 880’s Jim Smith.

Just like the extreme heat in the summer, Booker said this bitter cold can lead to “needless injuries and senseless death.”

“Look out for one another. If you know someone who is sick, who is a shut in, who is elderly, disabled, check in on them. This is a good time,” Booker said.

The mayor said the biggest thing residents can do is a small act of kindness.

A wind chill advisory is in effect for parts of Connecticut, where Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is urging cities and towns to open warming centers to help people in need.

The governor has also directed several state agencies to coordinate with shelters and the state’s 2-1-1 system for free information and referrals to help protect vulnerable people from the cold.

The cold can also be harmful to your pets. The Suffolk County SPCA advises pet owners to keep cats indoors and make sure dogs stay warm.

Dogs that are sick, old, very young or short-haired are especially vulnerable to the bitter cold. Take them out only to relieve themselves.

If your dog frequently lifts its paws, whines or stops during its walk, it may need booties. Frostbite can turn a pet’s skin red, white, or gray and scaly. If that happens, contact your vet immediately.

The law requires that outdoor housing for dogs have a waterproof roof. It must be structurally sound and have adequate insulation.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)