Friday, July 11, 2014

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New Yorkers Not Warming Up To Deep Freeze

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As temperatures remained below freezing Thursday, New Yorkers are bundling up and doing their best to keep their exposure outside to a minimum.

Temperatures were expected to feel like 5 to 10 degrees all day, even though a high of 24 degrees was expected.

Winds also stayed noticeable into Thursday night, driving the wind chills below zero.

The cold snap is expected to last through the weekend, with a round of light snow possible late Friday into early Saturday.

The dangers associated with freezing temperatures has led city officials to open up warming centers across the five boroughs.

View a list of warming center locations.

Those living in the Midland Beach neighborhood of Staten Island, an area hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, were doing their best Thursday morning to stay warm and seemed to be taking the challenge in stride.

"It's winter, what can you expect? We were pretty fortunate up to now and I noticed looking at the weather forecast for next week it's projected to go back into the 50s again so it's kind of crazy," said one Midland Beach resident.

"My basement hasn't been finished yet so the cold seeps through the first floor, but it's OK, I mean, I just raise it a little bit. I got a new boiler thanks to Rapid Repairs, so I'm doing fine, I'm holding up fine," said another Midland Beach resident.

Since the storm, Staten Island resident Aiman Youssef has been busy running a neighborhood relief hub on Midland Avenue.

"A lot of people have been coming so we give them jackets, we give them sweaters, we got a lot of deliveries yesterday, with that clothing. Yeah, we are trying, we are trying our best to help them," Youssef said.

As for Youssef and his volunteers, staying warm is tough. He said they have a diesel heater in a tent but noted it's expensive to keep running with no sponsor.

Meanwhile, people living in one Brooklyn apartment building said they have not had reliable heating.

Residents of the Red Hook Houses on Mill Street say their heat has been on and off for some time.

Luz Vasquez and her children all have asthma, and she tells NY1 that she is concerned about how the cold will affect their health.

She said that while the heating does get repaired, it breaks down again frequently enough to make life miserable.

"The hurricane was better than it is now, because we're freezing, you know, we have no heat," Vasquez said.

NY1 reached out to the New York City Housing Authority about the issue.

A NYCHA representative says the agency is looking into the problem.

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