NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Bitter, cold temperatures blew into the Tri-State Area, making all that weather leading up to this seem almost pleasant by comparison.

Listen: WCBS 880 Craig Allen’s Weather To Go

“Oh it’s gloves, scarves, lots of coats,” said Sam Mehta of Westfield, N.J. (Check out CBS New York’s hottest winter accessories) “The wind comes in really, really sharp, cuts you right through,” said Stephen Onne of Harlem.

WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane shivers in White Plains

Sound Off: How are you handling the cold?

Coping With the Cold

CBS 2’s Scott Rapoport hit the streets Monday and spoke with bundled-up New Yorkers to find out what they were wearing to stay warm.

“20 layers.  Long johns, hoodie, button-up, undershirt,” one man said.

It is dangerously cold out there (credit: CBS 2)

“Earmuffs, scarf, mittens,” replied another woman.

Experts said the brutal cold could turn dangerous quickly. The effects of frostbite could begin to take effect in as little as 5 minutes.

“The cold affects the arteries of the fingers and the toes. So you if you have any problems with the heart, diabetes, high blood pressure or other significant health issues, maybe going outside right now isn’t the best thing for you to do,” Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum said.

The coldest weather of the season already proved to be deadly. In Connecticut, a house burned to the ground after residents tried using a heat gun to warm some frozen pipes. A woman in North Haven also apparently fell in a driveway and froze to death Saturday night, when temperatures were close to zero.

In Philly, firefighters battled another blaze, covered in ice. Also, a man died after spending a night in his car.

Back home, New York City officials issued a Code Blue, making it easier for the city’s homeless to get into a shelter. Outreach workers were checking on street dwellers every two hours.

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs at Jones Beach

In the East Village, a leaky pipe encased parked cars in ice and caused the pavement to sink in.

Amtrak’s Empire Service was suspended Monday between New York City and Albany due to the extreme cold, but service was expected to return to normal Tuesday.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said it took extra steps overnight to ensure that its commuter trains and subways and buses would run without problems for the morning rush. Extra crews checked on signals and switches and de-icer and scraper trains were run to ensure ice did not build up on the rails. Some subway trains were stored underground and buses were checked for any equipment problems.

Extra: Tips On Staying Safe And Warm In The Bitter Cold

It’s all enough to make you want to move to the tropics, but Lizbeth Older of Battery Park said she wouldn’t be anywhere else. “Better than Florida, come on, the sun there, that’s all. There’s nothing other than the sun.  This is Manhattan, New York City,” she said.

More seasonal temperatures are returning on Tuesday — mid- to high-30s.

The National Weather Service said the potential exists for a winter storm on Wednesday. The current projection calls for a mix of snow and rain along with gusty winds. However, the track of the storm could change the type and amount of precipitation.

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