Capital Region hit with frigid temperatures

Posted at: 01/07/2014 5:41 PM
Updated at: 01/07/2014 6:32 PM
By: Kumi Tucker

Photo: WNYT Staff

Albany city schools were among those that closed Tuesday. In Albany, school officials said this extreme cold can be dangerous for the many students who walk to school.

Everywhere you look, people are bundled up.

In Saratoga, the wind was a factor and that wind chill made it feel even colder.

The new Bridge Christian Church on Crane Street in Schenectady offers a haven from the cold. Anyone can come in from 11 to 3 this week to warm up near the fire, or sit in the cafe for some hot drinks and snacks. For anyone in need, there's also a food pantry. The winter coats have been going fast; the church gave away 200 in the past month.

"I'm very concerned about the cold," said Reverend James Bookhout. "I got up this morning, got out, my car hardly started. I live in a warm house, a beautiful house God's blessed us with. And I look at people in the area here and some of them don't even have a place to lay their head."

The church is looking for volunteers for the warming station and more donations of food and clothing.

It was bright and sunny, but people could feel the bitter cold.

"You can't stay out in this," said John Drislane of Troy. "The wind chill is still below zero."

Drislane was prepared, wearing plenty of layers.

Some sidewalks are icy after the melting snow froze.

Many people in the Northeast are used to going about their business in the cold, but in this bone-chilling weather, people are covered up..

"You get the wind from the river," said Drislane. "There's always a wind over by there. It just blows right up this way. So if there's any kind of wind at all, it's going to pick up and it comes over there and it's going to be even colder coming across the river."

The Red Cross is helping with two Code Blue shelters for the overnight hours: one at St. Peter's Church Parish Center on Broadway in Saratoga Springs, and another in Glens Falls at the Open Door Mission on Lawrence Street.

In the extreme cold, Dr. Michael Dailey at Albany Medical Center says to watch for signs of hypothermia: slurring of speech, sleepiness or excessive shivering. If your skin becomes white or grey, he says get out of the cold immediately and warm up, but don't rub the affected area because that can cause more damage.