NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Frigid temperatures have gripped the Tri-State for a second day Tuesday as people struggle to stay warm.
While the temperatures climbed to the upper 20’s, the Arctic air and gusty winds made it feel more like between 10 and 15 degrees for most of the Tri-State area, and even colder for the northern and western suburbs, CBS2’s Elise Finch reported.
“It’s really, really cold today,” said Long Island City resident Vanessa Santos. “It’s horrible, it’s worse than yesterday.”
“We weren’t expecting it to be this cold this fast,” said one woman. “Overnight it dropped, it went frigid.”
“Yesterday and today were both pretty cold, especially in the morning, but when it gets to the afternoon I can handle it,” said East Orange, New Jersey resident Clay Justice.
It might be hard to believe on a day like this, but so far January’s average high temperature is 42.2 degrees — 4 degrees above normal, Finch reported.
Construction worker Max Cabrera said surviving in this cold weather is all about the clothing.
“I have layers on top of layers,” he said.
“Bundle up and put the layers on,” another man waiting for a train in Tarrytown told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams.
One woman working in a coffee cart on Sixth Avenue spent the morning running back and forth to her heated van between customers.
“I absolutely hate it. I’m miserable,” she told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck. “You can’t get warm for nothing.”
Upper West Side resident Lucinda Lewis said she loves the winter weather and has one little trick that keeps her comfortable even on the coldest days.
“I’m an avid supporter of the pocket warmer,” she said.
At the Home Depot on East Gun Hill road in the Bronx, blue plastic bags of ice melt were flying off the shelves, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.
“We have the shovels, we have the snow blowers, we’re all set,” one man told Jones.
If you have to be outside, don’t underestimate the chill and protect yourself from frostbite.
“What you’re looking for is areas that start to turn kind of white-ish or grey, feel a little firm,” said CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez. “Those areas there, that’s what you need to worry about. That’s where you need to get inside.”
Dr. Yves Duroseau, with Lenox Hill Hospital, said children are especially vulnerable on cold days.
“They’re not able to tell you ‘my fingers feel numb’ or anything else an adult would feel, and also their bodies aren’t able to regulate the same way an adult does — heat or cold,” he said.
Duroseau said making sure you and your children are properly dressed when outside is critical to avoid frostbite.
“The nose, the ears, but any part of your body that’s exposed can be subjected to this,” he said. “The digits moreso and the feet because they don’t get the same blood flow that the rest of your body does.”
Staying hydrated is also crucial.
“All the regulations that occur in your body internally require hydration,” said Duroseau. “Also if you start to lose fluid your skin gets dry, it’s more potential for exposure and more potential for damage to your extremities.”
New York City issued a Code Blue Warning Monday. A Code Blue is put in place when temperatures drop to 32 degrees or lower and requires shelter access to anyone who needs assistance.
The Department of Homeless Services and the NYPD focus on clients on their vulnerable lists and work to contact them once every four hours to provide assistance.
Mayor Bill de Blasio urged all New Yorkers to stay warm and call 311 to help anyone at risk – especially those living on the street.
Earlier this month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo also issued an executive order that the homeless must be taken off the streets in freezing weather.