NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Bitter cold air sweeping across the Tri-State area is slowing the process of digging out from a major snowstorm that blanketed the region.
A wind chill advisory remains in effect until Saturday morning with the temperatures feeling like it’s between 10 to 20 below zero is some spots.
At those temperatures, it would take just minutes for exposed skin to develop frostbite and prolonged exposure could lead to hypothermia.
New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said children are more susceptible to the cold.
More: Cold Weather Safety Tips
“Worrying about small children is important not only because they need supervision at all times, but because little children have less surface area to body ratio and they cool down faster,” Bassett told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams. “Kids can get colder in cold weather than bigger people do and it’s important that they be bundled up.”
But if you have to work outside like Hassan, who was out Friday morning slinging garbage bags into the back of a sanitation truck, bundle up.
“I got a pair of thermal pants on. I got two pairs of sweatpants and a pair of work pants. And then under my shirt I got a regular T-shirt, then I got a thermal and two more shirts. You gotta bundle up,” he said.
Elijah Arroyo of the Times Square Alliance was also out cleaning colossal chunks of ice from an empty pedestrian plaza.
“I’m trying to stay warm. I’ve been out here for like three hours,” Arroyo told 1010 WINS’ John Montone. “Hard work, it comes a long way. It’s tough, it’s real cold here, gotta keep your hands and face warm at all times.”
On the Jersey Shore, Vince Pelican told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell the 16 inches of snow outside his Manasquan home were the least of his problems. Beneath two-feet of powdery snow drifts, his driveway was a sheet of solid ice.
He lives across from the water, and some sections of the street had three inches of ice.
“It was all icebergs floating down the street,” he said.
Mayor Ed Donovan said road crews have been through again and again, but the frigid temperatures are a problem.
“It’s going to stay around for – at least through the weekend,” he said.
As CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock reported, the snow quickly turned to ice on Long Island.
“Just unbelievable weather,” said John Brigindi, who captured a video from her Bayville window of the Long Island Sound surging over its banks Thursday.
Evidence of the water stuck frozen to electric meters. The sea spray that was sent soaring immediately froze to any surface it landed on – windows, poles, fences, too. It has yet to melt and likely won’t until Monday.
“The cold is literately piercing through everything I have on,” one man said.
“This doesn’t seem normal,” another added.
No, it’s not normal, Murdock reported. Friday’s high was nearly 25 degrees below the normal.
It didn’t stop Will Keller and other kids from sledding for a solid 30 minutes.
“When we got back in the car, they were screaming,” said Vicki Walsh.
Murdock asked Dr. Robert Glatter, of Lenox Hill Hospital, just how long is it safe for kids to play outdoors.
“It’s different for every child, but in general, after about, I would say, 30 minutes, you start to see their cheeks being red. That’s an early sign,” he said. “Remove all wet clothing and put them in warm blankets. I would not put them in a hot bath immediately.”
A lot of parents felt no need to risk sending their kids to New York City schools Friday. Attendance was just over 53 percent. The day before the storm, it was 89 percent.
With two more days to endure the arctic invasion, consider yourself lucky if you haven’t had to call the plumber. Frank Riso, of Tri-County Installations, said his phone hasn’t stopped ringing, as frozen pipes are popping all over.
The biggest threat is the howling winds.
“When you get the strong winds, it will creep into the crawl spaces or into an eve, a soffit. And a little bit of wind blows through that pipe, past that pipe, and that’s it,” said Riso.
He suggested keeping your faucets at a slow drip and turning up the heat.
“At least 65, if not leave it at 70. It doesn’t hurt. The extra heat is pennies compared to the repairs,” he said, adding the average repair costs nearly $200.
Later Friday night, CBS2’s Jessica Layton was in Central Park, where it wasn’t easy for one man to steer his pedicab, even when his freezing customers were smiling.
“I’ve been working here 10 years. This has been the coldest weather I’ve ever seen,” he said.
Proving how hazardous the conditions can be, an 83-year-old woman slipped in the snow Friday afternoon while crossing the street and was hit by a car in Queens.
Even with the warnings, Layton found plenty of people making the most of the elements.
“This is my first time, I builded a snowman,” one little girl said.
“I feel like a kid doing this,” said Andrew Tan.
The already dangerous temperatures will take a drastic dip Saturday. New Yorkers will have to maneuver around mounds of snow on slippery sidewalks, while dealing with windchills that make the arctic air feel well below zero.
That’s a big concern for emergency room physicians, like Dr. Glatter.
“Well No. 1 it’s exposure – just being out in the cold, not covering skin, for example on your face, your neck, your fingers,” he said. “Someone, say, is out in the cold for as little as 15 to 20 minutes, they are at risk for hypothermia.”
The storm Thursday brought heavy snow, hurricane-force winds and coastal flooding and caused school and business closings and airline and rail service cancellations or reductions.
More seasonable weather is expected to return early next week with temperatures in the high 30s on Monday.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)