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Dangerous Cold Hits Tri-State Area As Weekend Begins

NYC Extreme Cold

Temperatures dropped to 8 degrees in Central Park, and minus 11 in parts of Long Island, on Friday night into Saturday morning. (Credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Tri-State Area residents woke up to dangerous cold Saturday, with some areas setting record lows in the minus range.

The temperatures climbed into the 20s Saturday afternoon, but extreme cold was expected to return later in the week.

CBS 2 Weather reported the overnight low Friday night into Saturday morning bottomed out at 8 degrees in Central Park – the lowest for this date since 2011.

But other areas saw lows far colder. The low dropped to minus 13 in Westhampton, minus 3 in Atlantic City, N.J.; minus 1 in Trenton, N.J.; 0 in Islip, and 3 at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

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A wind chill advisory was also issued earlier in the morning for parts of Connecticut, and New York, including Dutchess, Ulster and Sullivan counties.

The wind chills temperatures brought a high risk of hypothermia and frostbite for anyone outside for too long, according to the National Weather Service.

The conditions made it difficult for firefighters who battled an extra-alarm fire at a lumber yard in Greenpoint, Brooklyn overnight.

Nearly 200 firefighters were called out to battle the blaze at Marly Building Supply, at Meeker Avenue and Varick Street in Brooklyn. It took firefighters nearly seven hours to contain the blaze, and firefighters ran into trouble because of frozen hydrants, cold temperatures and the wood that was feeding the flames.

The firefighters had no choice but to be out in the elements, but as CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell reported, others chose to avoid it if they could.

“It’s horrendous,” said Michael Wachtel of Teaneck, N.J. “Blistering.”

“I was in Miami yesterday, and I’m pretty sad I came home,” added Dave Zlotnick of Manhattan.

“I’ve been living here 29 years and it’s the first time of too much cold for me,” added Bharat Patel.

And of course, those who were out and about had it tough. Tom Silver of East New York, Brooklyn was getting his car cleared of snow before the snow hardened.

“It’s very soft and much easier to move like this,” Silver said. “It’ll be like a brick to get it away in the morning.

The bitter cold also made it difficult for getting rid of all the snow that fell Thursday night into Friday morning.

Bedford Park in the Bronx was on record with New York City’s highest snow total — 11.6 inches, according to the National Weather Service. Central Park recorded 6 inches.

Some parts of Long Island were buried in more than a foot of snow. Bay Shore in Suffolk County received the most snow in the region with 12.5 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

But in Suffolk County, business owners were hoping the bitter blast and snow would not keep customers away this weekend.

As CBS 2’s Sonia Moghe reported, Gaetano Giordano has his name on the storefront at Giordano’s pizzeria in Bay Shore. But he was not above getting rid of snow himself.

“Hopefully, people come out today,” Giordano said.

Giordano believes if store owners team up to clean snow and ice off sidewalks, more people will come out.

“If you clean up the neighborhood, make it where people would be safe to walk, I’m sure people would come out,” Giordano said.

Giordano’s town of Bay Shore got hit with 12 1/2 inches of snow Thursday night into Friday morning – more than he was expecting.

“I’ve always thought the North Shore got more, but the South Shore got hit pretty hard this year,” Giordano said.

And his work paid off as customers such as Mike Garcia braved freezing temperatures to get a slice.

“It lets everybody know we are open for business,” Garcia said.

In the city, concerns mounted about the homeless who might be at risk in the extreme cold. Between 8 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday, the city made contact with 40 homeless people, and placed 16 in shelters.

There were 99 calls to 311 to suggest people needed help, and the city responded to all calls, officials said.

On an average night, the city only receives 12 311 calls.

The snow and extreme cold also impacted area airports. About 140 flights were canceled Saturday at John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty international airports, and LaGuardia Airport.

While the bitter air will grow warmer Saturday, the worst is not over. CBS 2 Meteorologist John Marshall reports the high for Saturday is forecast at 28, as a southwesterly wind brings mild air.

As of shortly before 1 p.m., the temperature had reached 21 degrees in Central Park.

On Sunday, the high climbs to a comfortable 45 degrees with scattered showers. The high for Monday is also 45.

But come Tuesday, temperatures plummet, with the high only forecast at 12 degrees, and the overnight low Tuesday night into Wednesday bottoming out at a mere 3 degrees.

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