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New Yorkers Brave Some Of The Coldest Temperatures In Years; Tips To Stay Safe

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New York City is dealing with some of the coldest temperatures it has seen in three years.

The silver lining? It's not as cold as 1968, when the city hit a record low of 3 degrees. But with the wind chill, it almost feels like it.

CBS2's Natalie Duddridge spotted a man starting his Tuesday jogging in shorts.

"Just have to run faster, that's all," he said.

The freeze didn't stop the New York Road Runners either.

"What brings you out here?" Duddridge asked.

"Craziness!" one runner replied.


If you aren't running, the cold will catch up to you.

Experts say frostbite can set in on exposed skin in just minutes. This type of weather also increases the risk of hypothermia.

It's a big concern for outdoor workers at Bryant Park, where the fountain froze over.

"As you see, layer up, long Johns, handwarmers inside the gloves ... and just stay moving," construction worker Scott Giles said.

The frigid temps also mean there is an increased risk of fire and carbon monoxide from heating sources like space heaters and fuel burning appliances.

The FDNY reminds people to plug space heaters directly into the wall -- no extension cords -- and leave room around them.

The NYPD also had an unusual cold message for their foes.

"Dear criminals, Here's the deal -- if you crime today, we'll come arrest you & you'll be cold, we'll be cold, everyone will just be cold. So do us all a favor. Just don't!" the department tweeted.

Code Blue

When cold temperatures reach freezing or lower, wind chill below 0 degrees, or the area is hit by ice storms, freezing rain or more than 6 inches of snow, New York City triggers a "Code Blue" to make sure anyone in need of assistance has the shelter they need.

According to, the following help is made more available for the homeless:

    • Shelters: During a Code Blue, homeless adults can access any shelter location for single individuals.
      Beds are available system-wide to accommodate anyone brought in by outreach teams or walk-ins.
    • Drop-in centers: All drop-in centers are open 24 hours a day when Code Blue procedures are in effect, taking in as many as people as possible for the duration of inclement weather. Drop-in staff also can make arrangements for homeless individuals at other citywide facilities.
    • Safe havens and stabilization beds: Chronically homeless individuals may be transported to these low-threshold housing options, where they may go directly from the street to a bed.
    • New Yorkers should call 911 if they see someone in need of medical assistance, and 311 to have a HOME-STAT outreach team engage a homeless individual about going to a shelter and receiving homelessness services.

The chill triggered the city's Department of Homeless Services "Code Blue" alert, meaning shelters and drop-ins are available 24 hours. If you see someone at risk, call 311.

"I hope they have a shelter or somewhere to go," resident Thiago Rubio said. "Because it's really cold."

Don't forget to check on your neighbors and bundle up your pets.

As for the kids and the young at heart, they all seem to love it.

"A million popsicles," one girl said.

"It's a beautiful day, and you can have fun out skating," a woman added.

To think, two years ago in 2020, it was 69 degrees! Tuesday is 50 degrees colder.

CLICK HERE for OSHA & NOAA guidelines for outdoor workers

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