Updated 01/24/2011 07:58 PM
Bitter Cold Blasts New York
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City officials are warning New Yorkers to dress properly for the frigid temperatures and to avoid prolonged exposure to the outdoors when possible.
Frost bite and hypothermia are real concerns as temperatures will remain below 20 degrees overnight. Signs include painful areas on the skin, discoloration, firm or waxy skin, and numbness.
The city tied a record low at John F. Kennedy Airport Monday morning at just six degrees.
Service on the Empire line between New York and Albany and on the Ethan Allen Express to Rutland Vermont is suspended today.
Sub-zero temperatures caused some signals, switches, and equipment to freeze.
There is no word at this time as to when service will resume.
For more information, call 1-800-USA-RAIL or go to amtrak.com.
"It feels like it is three-degrees below zero,” said one New Yorker. “Oh my God, I can't stand up. It's too cold.”
“It's cold. I feel like I'm in Alaska,” said another. “I feel like I was on the Titanic when it drowned."
"Well, it's not easy, but we have to," said a third. "We have to go to work. We have to just do the everyday tasks, whether we like it or not. It's winter."
The Department of Homeless Services remains under a Code Blue alert. New Yorkers are urged to call 311 if they see a homeless person who needs shelter.
The City Housing Department has extra housing code and maintenance crews working to help those without heat.
The Department of Sanitation has issued a snow alert for Tuesday.
While there is only a potential for a light dusting of snow, sanitation crews want to be ready.
The alert allows crews to start preparing their equipment, such as loading salt spreaders and attaching plow as needed.
And due to the pending snow fall, the Department of Transportation has announced that alternate-side parking regulations will be suspended citywide Tuesday. Meter rules will remain in effect.
Meanwhile, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is asking New Yorkers to remember their pets’ needs during this deep freeze.
The organization has a few tips, including keeping cats inside, watching out for outdoor cats that sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars and can be injured or killed when the vehicle is started.
The ASPCA also says to never let dogs off the leash on snow or ice and make sure they are always wears ID tags, as more dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season.
Pet owners should also thoroughly wipe off their dogs’ paws so they don’t lick them and accidentally ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals.
Pets should not be left alone in the car, which can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.
Also, the ASPCA says pet owners should consider a coat for their pets and make sure they have a warm place to sleep.
For more tips, visit aspca.org and click on the pet care tab.