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    NewsUSAIcy sub-zero winds batter Northeast US as extreme cold sets in

    Icy sub-zero winds batter Northeast US as extreme cold sets in

    (CNN) — More than 20 million people in the northeastern United States are facing a brief, but life-threatening cold snap this weekend, as temperatures feel well below freezing across the region.

    Wind chill advisories and warnings covering all of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut are likely to continue through Saturday morning. Nearly all of New York State and northern Pennsylvania counties are also threatened by freezing temperatures.

    Until higher temperatures hit Sunday, officials in several states have urged the public to stay indoors and have opened shelters and warming centers to provide help to those in need, particularly vulnerable groups experiencing homelessness. .

    “Our state is facing dangerously cold temperatures and extreme wind chills today and tomorrow,” said Governor Kathy Hochul. Friday morning on Twitter. “We are coordinating with local officials to ensure they have what they need to keep New Yorkers safe. Limit time outdoors, wear layers, and be careful with alternative heat sources.”

    Dangerously cold winds are descending on the region from Canada, putting entire states at risk. The worst impacts are expected in northern Maine, where about 70,000 people in Penobscot and Aroostook counties are under blizzard warnings through Saturday night, according to the National Weather Service.

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    “Blizzardy conditions on land with heavy snow blizzards are expected today through Saturday in open areas. Please don’t drive if you don’t have to!” the weather service in Caribou, Maine said.

    Maine State Police shared photos of deteriorating road conditions in Aroostook County on Friday and warned drivers that any area of ​​the state with open fields and snow can expect periods of poor visibility.

    “One of the beauties of the county is (its) open fields and views, but on days like this they become dangerous. Drive carefully. What appear to be safe and normal driving conditions deteriorate rapidly on stretches of road with near-zero visibility,” the Maine State Police said in a Facebook post.

    In addition to blizzard conditions, parts of northern Maine felt so cold they hit -69 degrees Fahrenheit (-56 degrees Celsius) Friday night, and many other areas saw their winds feel as cold as between – 35°F (-37°C) and -50°F (-45°C), according to the weather service in Caribou.

    The local weather service also reported some power outages in Maine, where water inside trees froze, expanded and caused trees to snap and down power lines, though the impacts did not appear extensive or widespread on Friday.

    On Friday night, a new national record for probably the lowest wind chill temperature was set at the Northeast’s highest peak, Mount Washington in New Hampshire, with a reported wind chill of minus 108 degrees Fahrenheit (-77 °C). ), thanks to a temperature of minus 46 (-43°C) and wind gusts of 127 mph (208 km/h). Wind chill records aren’t historically tracked as closely as temperature records, but the mark would break other established lows.

    People bundle up in freezing temperatures and high winds in Manhattan as deep cold sweeps across the Northeast on Friday.

    The freezing temperatures this week have not only affected the Northeast. Further south, severe cold weather also caused continued power outages in Texas and Arkansas as an ice storm swept through the region, killing at least eight people.

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    Some 150,000 homes and businesses in Texas were still dark early Saturday as multiple rounds of ice, sleet and freezing rain made deadly roads and downed trees, also causing power lines to snap and down. In Arkansas, more than 35,000 homes and businesses experienced power outages early Saturday morning, according to monitoring site Poweroutage us.

    help homeless

    Amid the dangerously cold weather going on in the Northeast, New York City issued “code blue” Friday night, the city’s Department of Homeless Services said. On twitter.

    The designation generally indicates that temperatures have reached an extremely low threshold that requires them to make the resources available to the public. Under that code, people can use the city’s homeless shelter system in an emergency, and it directs New Yorkers to report people on the street as a safety measure.

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    “No one who is homeless will be denied seeking shelter in New York City during a Code Blue,” a department spokesperson said.

    People bundle up as they protect themselves from chilly winds as the area registers record low temperatures on February 3, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

    New York City is forecast to see temperatures in the single digits, with the coldest point Saturday morning at 8 Fahrenheit (-13 degrees Celsius) and winds could feel as cold as 7 degrees below zero (-21 degrees Celsius).

    “Homeless Outreach Teams will talk to any New Yorker on the street and offer them a warm shelter,” the city said Friday in a tweet.

    In Erie County, home to Buffalo, officials also issued a “code blue” and opened three county overnight shelters and daytime warming centers.

    Warming centers have also opened in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Vermont, officials said.

    In New Hampshire, where the coldest winds could feel as low as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit (-40 degrees Celsius), Cannon Mountain Ski Resort in Franconia and Wildcat Mountain in Gorham closed due to the bitter cold, according to their Facebook pages.

    Similarly, several ski areas turned away customers and closed their operations in Vermont on Friday.

    CNN meteorologists Mike Saenz and Haley Brink and CNN’s Joe Sutton, Gloria Pazmino and Mallika Kallingal contributed to this report.


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