NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City rang in 2018 in Times Square amid bitter and dangerous cold, but amid as much revelry and exuberance as any year.
The temperature was the second coldest recorded for midnight at New Year’s in New York City since 1907.
The revelers flocked into Times Square in droves for the world famous New Year’s Eve ball drop. The annual event is a massive security challenge for law enforcement, and this year’s frigid temperatures made matters more demanding for officials and visitors alike.
Still, that did not stop the huge crowd from coming out Sunday night to watch the iconic ball drop. They rang in 2018 with their eyes glued to the opulent crystal ball as it dropped before the crowd of revelers packed into the crossroads of the world.
People had to line up for hours ahead of the big event just to get in and wait on what’s expected to be one of the coldest days of the year. At midnight Monday morning, the air temperature was 9 degrees with the wind chill even more severe.
The 9-degree figure made this New Year’s had the second coldest midnight temperature since 1907, according to the National Weather Service.
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Meanwhile, security was tighter than any past year, with the NYPD saying Times Square would be the “safest place in the world” on New Year’s Eve.
The department had been planning for Sunday’s revelry for the entire year, and also made adjustments after recent terror attacks in the city. There will be teams of snipers, bag inspecting officers, and vapor wake dogs — able to detect airborne explosive particles.
People also saw more metal detectors and barricades than ever before.
While officers had their eyes on the crowd, revelers watched the iconic crystal ball rise into place. But that could only distract from the painfully frigid air.
“I don’t think I’m going to make it,” said Enrique Campos of Cuba, who had a blanket. “Some girl, she just walked out — she leave this for me.”
“It’s definitely hard, but I’m not the only one who has to deal with it, so I’m not alone,” one reveler said.
“It’s a bucket list item, and who needs all your toes?” another said.
CBS2’s Elise Finch reported the temperatures were expected to be even more severe in the days to come. The forecast high for Monday is just 17, followed by a rebound to 23 Tuesday, 27 Wednesday and 26 Thursday.
But come Friday, the high drops down to 14.
Despite the cold forecast even for broad daylight New Year’s Day, it will be another busy day outside for New York City. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) will administer the oath of office for de Blasio during the mayor’s inauguration for his second term on the steps of City Hall.
De Blasio was officially sworn in for the new term on Sunday during a ceremony at Gracie Mansion. City Clerk Michael McSweeney administered the oath of office, but Monday will mark the formal ceremonies.
De Blasio was the first Democrat to win re-election as New York City mayor since Ed Koch 32 years ago. He cruised to an easy victory during the election, beating out Republican state Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and a handful of other candidates.