Teeth-chattering temps move in to Northeast
NEW YORK — Bitter temperatures and biting winds had much of the northeastern United States bundling up this weekend and the brutal weather was blamed for a deadly interstate pileup.
The coldest temperatures of the season blew into the region Saturday with gusts that created dangerous wind chills, well below zero.
Through noon Sunday, the National Weather Service said, high winds could make it feel as cold as minus-25 to minus-30 in New York City and parts of Connecticut and New Jersey and as cold as minus-35 degrees around Boston.
“These temperatures can be life threatening — especially for seniors, infants and people with medical conditions,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said. Stay indoors and take care of each other, he counseled.
Police said weather was a factor in the pileup Saturday in Pennsylvania that saw dozens of vehicles — tractor-trailers, box trucks, cars and SUVs — tangled together across three lanes and the snow-covered median of Interstate 78. A snow squall appears to have moved through at the time of the crash. Three people were killed and dozens sent to hospitals.
The bone-chilling cold canceled horse racing at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in West Virginia and at New York’s Aqueduct Racetrack. The Central Park Ice Festival, which was to feature ice-carving artists and music, was shelved.
But even with the freezing temperatures, tourists cloaked in heavy layers wandered over the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan, snapping photos. Deliverymen cycled through the windy streets, their hands covered with plastic bags, and garage employees changed tires.
And the frigid temperatures didn’t keep hundreds of people from jumping into the Atlantic Ocean as part of a Jersey shore resort town’s annual Polar Bear Plunge.
Valentine’s Day plans also didn’t seem to be stalled, either.
Nic Faitos, owner of Starbright Floral Design, in New York, was anticipating about 2,000 deliveries this weekend. He said his business double-wraps all the flowers to protect them.
“If they fall below about 25 degrees they will start to freeze. The petals will become completely wilted,” he said.
And though the temperatures were frigid, they weren’t necessarily record-setting. The record for cold in Concord, New Hampshire, on Valentine’s Day is minus-28 degrees, and Sunday’s forecast was for a low of minus-10, said meteorologist Bob Marine.
Associated Press writer Bruce Shipkowski in Trenton, New Jersey, and Amy Anthony in Providence, Rhode Island, contributed to this report.