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Snow To Follow Bitter Cold Temperatures Across Tri-State Area

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Snow will follow bitter cold that brought some record-breaking temperatures to parts of the Tri-State area.

A winter weather advisory is in effect from midnight until noon on Tuesday for New York City, Long Island and parts of New Jersey.

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The city could see 2 to 4 inches of snow overnight, just in time for Tuesday's morning rush hour.

"We are anticipating that it's going to be a messy commute so we hope that people who can will take mass transit, but we will have staff on and our vehicles all ready to go ahead of the event," Department of Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia told 1010 WINS.

The Department of Sanitation has issued a snow alert for Tuesday. Alternate-side parking is also suspended for Tuesday and NJ TRANSIT will be offering full, systemwide cross-honoring.

The snow comes after Arctic air brought bone-chilling temperatures before rising into the double digits Monday.

A record low of negative 2 degrees was set in Bridgeport, Conn. Monday morning, breaking the old record of 4 degrees set in 1987. A record low of 5 degrees was also set at John. F. Kennedy Airport, breaking the old record of 9 set in 2003.

In the city, National Weather Service meteorologist Jeffrey Tongue says the temperature in Central Park hit 3 degrees at 7 a.m. Monday. That was 2 degrees above the 1 degree record set in 1888.

Officials Warn New Yorkers To Stay Safe In Bitter Cold

By noon, temperatures had risen to 15 degrees, though wind-chill numbers were still in the single digits.

"It's unbearable," said Long Island resident David Zivotofsky.

"It's painful, it just hurts," said Manhattan resident Andrea Morabito.

"When I got off the train, it was so cold," Far Rockaway resident Kevin Bishop told CBS2's Janelle Burrell. "I got back on the train, headed back home."

"It's like getting hit on the head with a baseball bat when you open the door," another man told 1010 WINS' Glenn Schuck.

With the day off from work and school for many people, most folks who were braving the cold on this Presidents Day were outside by choice. But that didn't mean they enjoyed the single digit temperatures and sub-zero wind chills, CBS2's Elise Finch reported.

"Oh my God I feel like I want to die. I just want to jump on a plane and go back to the Caribbean," said Mark Alawusaoxley.

"I actually can take the cold no problem, but the second you get in those avenues and the wind blows through it's like OK I'm done," said Jayme Lowe.

Dangerously Cold Temperatures Hit Tri-State Area

Doctors say it's important to take precautions in these temperatures, including limiting your time outside, wearing loose-fitting layers and always wearing a hat.

"You do lose a lot of heat through your head, certainly with smaller people," Dr. Peter Shearer, medical director at the Mt. Sinai Emergency Department, told CBS2's Elise Finch. "You're also talking about where you have the extremities, parts of your body that have a more compromised blood supply."

Dangerously Cold Temperatures Hit Tri-State Area

According to the CDC, any of the following signs could indicate frostbite: A white or grayish-yellow skin area, skin that feels unusually firm or waxy and numbness.

The warning signs of hypothermia, which requires emergency medical assistance, include shivering and exhaustion, confusion and fumbling hands, memory loss or slurred speech and drowsiness.

New York City Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Joe Esposito says it's also important to check on the vulnerable, the home-bound or the elderly to see whether they need a hand in this bitter cold.

He also said you should use caution if using an electric space heater to heat your home.

"They require a lot of power, they suck a lot of juice out of it and it heats up those extension cords, so don't use a 99 cent extension cord," he told WCBS 880's Rich Lamb. "Get a UL approved, heavy-duty extension cord if you're going to use a space heater."

The cold temperatures are not too much of a threat as long as you stay inside and your heating system works. But that appears to not be the case for hundreds of people.

New York's Office of Emergency Management got over a thousand complaints Sunday about heating issues. That's nearly double the usual number.

The cold weather is causing other problems across New York City.

In East Harlem, a break in a water line forced service to be cut off to 13 buildings at the Wagner Houses on Paladino Avenue.

Water Shut Off At Wagner Houses Following Leak

The New York City Housing Authority said it is working on the broken line, but there has been no water since Sunday night for dozens of apartments, 1010 WINS' Sonia Rincon reported.

One resident said he was assured water would be back in the morning.

"I called last night and they said it would be on. Now I asked them how long it's going to be off, and they said they don't know," he told Rincon.

In Lower Manhattan, a new Holiday Inn also had to be evacuated because of a water leak early Monday morning.

And over on the Upper West Side -- 84th Street and Broadway -- an AMC Movie Theater suffered a soggy lobby after a pipe burst, CBS2's Jessica Schneider reported.

The water from the pipe tore down a hanging light fixture all while people arrived for the afternoon showings around 1 p.m.

As more people showed up, they could see the water still pouring down from the ceiling inside. The dangerous close-call shut down the theater for 6 hours.

A representative with AMC said the commotion was due to frozen pipes. Cold weather caused an overhead sprinkler to freeze and burst.

"The water is in the system, and the draft. It's in the ceiling and it just freezes and breaks," George Nunez, Service Technician, Simplex Grinnell, said.

It was the fourth call for a burst pipe that Nunez took on Monday. Technicians and plumbers are working overtime during the deep freeze.

Peter Grotto has a staff of 3 dozen. He offered a precautionary tip to homeowners.

"You have to raise the thermostat. They have to raise it up the next couple of days by two or three degrees. Throughout the night, leave it on," he said.

Another major concern is the effect the freezing temperature has on vehicles.

AAA's Robert Sinclair told WCBS 880's Rich Lamb the auto club has received a staggering number of roadside assistance calls due to the extreme cold, mostly for dead batteries.

"And a lot of people don't realize it, but when the temperatures go down batteries lose power, the battery loses about 30 percent of its power when the temperature is near freezing," Sinclair said. "With the temperatures near zero as it has been for us today, a battery loses nearly 60 percent of its power."

AAA Warns Of Cold Weather Dangers Related To Car Batteries

Sinclair said if your car battery is 3 to 4 years old, have a garage give it a load test and if it fails, buy a new one right away so you won't go out one morning and turn the key to only hear a click or nothing at all.

The cold wave is expected to continue through the week.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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