NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Mayor Bill de Blasio warned New Yorkers to take “extreme precautions” this weekend and heed cold-weather warnings as the dangerously cold temperatures hit the Tri-State area.
“The city is facing some of the coldest temperatures and wind chills we’ve seen in the last 20 years,” said de Blasio. “If for any reason you have to go out, go out for as little time as possible; bundle up, lots of layers, don’t have skin exposed.”
A wind chill advisory has been issued for New York City beginning Saturday afternoon and continuing to noon Sunday. With the actual temperatures falling as low as 4 degrees below, the weather service said the city could see wind chills between 18 and 24 degrees below. Wind gusts may reach 45 miles per hour.
“It feels like you’re in a freezer,” Gabe DeJesus told CBS2’s Ilana Gold
“My hands are the coldest; it’s freezing,” said Brooklynn Stevens, of Los Angeles.
“My nose is freezing, my legs are cold,” one woman told CBS2’s Dave Carlin.
“It’s just my face and hands are the worst part,” said Thomas Pugliese.
Protecting yourself in this frigid weather is key. Frostbite can happen in a matter of minutes; so can hypothermia.
The National Weather Service said hypothermia takes 1,300 lives a year. Doctors are advising everyone to bundle up and put on a hat and gloves so you don’t lose your body heat.
Many will choose to stay indoors, which poses another danger as people try to keep warm. Home heating is the second leading cause of house fires in the winter, Gold reported.
“Many times we’ll find space heaters too close to combustible material,” said FDNY Lt. Frank Manetta. “They should be at least three feet away from anything that can catch fire and plugged into the wall, not an extension cord.”
The FDNY also warns not to use your stove for heat as it poses a risk for not only fire, but carbon monoxide.
The mayor said there will be extra staff on hand this weekend to address heat and hot water complaints, 1010 WINS’ Samantha Liebman reported.
As for those who are most vulnerable in this dangerously cold weather, De Blasio said the city is working to bring people living on the street to shelters or hospitals.
De Blasio said the city’s Code Blue plan helped bring nearly 270 homeless people indoors, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported.
And as for those who plan to go out and party this weekend, the mayor had this advice:
“We also want to emphasize anyone under the influence of drugs or alcohol may not recognize just how dangerous these conditions are. People really need to look out for their friends.”
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