Subzero temperatures grip north country

Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 4:31 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - The temperature dropped below zero before dawn Friday and, despite the sunshine, continued to plunge throughout the day. Add the wind chill to the equation, and it feels like 30 to 40 degrees below zero.

“It hits you in the face like you’re getting punched almost. Then it bites on the inside of your nose and mouth. It’s just not fun,” said Andrew Long of Watertown.

“I’m used to it even though I’m bundled in two jackets. It’s just a matter of precaution,” said Tacora Marcellus of Watertown.

“I’ve grown up here and have witnessed the freezing cold but, you know, you get sick of it,” said Spencer Beckstead of Massena.

The subzero temperatures forced a number of schools to close. Although students and teachers got a break, firefighters, of course, did not.

Members of Watertown’s fire department extinguished a small blaze Friday morning, making sure the air didn’t freeze their hoses.

“These guys - they’re not going to quit. It’s my job to make sure they don’t hurt themselves. They’re going to go as hard as they have to go as long as they have to go to get the job done,” said Battalion Chief Tucker Wiley, Watertown Fire Department.

Despite the bitter cold, Friday night’s SnowTown USA festivities at Dry Hill are happening as scheduled.

“We’re having a torchlight parade at 6:15. At 6:30 we’re having fireworks. They’re still on. There will be entertainment inside the lodge after that,” said David Daily, SnowTown USA director.

According to the National Weather Service, the last time the north country region saw a daytime high below zero was on February 14, 2016.

The thermometer is expected to climb above zero around mid-morning on Saturday.