Hospital, Towns Prepare for Bitter Cold Temps

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Single-digit temperatures were already chilling Connecticut by Thursday night as the state braced for below-zero temps to bring a frigid misery on Friday.

The cold led Middletown infant, Jovani Rivera, to cry as he was carried down the street by his parents.

Fellow Middletown residents will be able to stop at warming centers located at the Police Department, City Hall and the library.

“It’s too cold, way too cold,” said Alicia Rivera.

But in Cromwell, some say it’s all just part of “New England living.”

“If you don’t like this weather, you can’t be living in this state,” said Seth Sevimli.

Seth says he’ll be working inside on Friday, but not before a shopping trip he took Thursday night.

“Some pepperoni and some tootsie rolls,” said Seth, naming his “essential” food purchases.

For others, the Siberia-like sidewalks could be more serious, says Dr. Shawn London of Hartford Hospital’s emergency room.

“When we think of frostbite, that’s really kind of a direct cold injury to the areas we were talking about like the extremities, the tip of the nose, and the ears, but hypothermia is really when your core temperature starts dropping,” said Dr. London.

The physician says hypothermia can set in quite fast.

“Even an hour or two, if your clothes get damp, your gloves get damp, it can set in pretty quickly.”

That’s why the hospital’s vice president of operations has been busy preparing the past 48 hours.

“We are used to the snow in New England, however with the cold temperatures it’s sort of unusual,” said Bimal Patel.

Patel says the hospital has added 20 tons of extra sand to cover their 8 miles of walkways and roadways.

They’ve also readied 50 rooms for patients and families who get stuck inside.

There’s even 300 cots for staff, who have to stay overnight.

Quinnipiac Univesity clinical associate professor Cindy Lord advises keeping “COLD” on your mind.

She says C stands for cover up, O stands for avoiding overexertion, L stands for layering clothing and D stands for staying dry.

By Friday morning, forecasts predict wind chills could drop to minus-10 or even minus-15 degrees, but that’s still not fazing some like Seth.

“Well, I’m not looking forward to that, but it does feel like winter finally. So …  I like winter.”

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