Cold weather puts brake on some cars

The cold weather sweeping across the region this week can create problems and delays in everyday life.

From automobile problems to health issues, the cold weather tends to delay and create problems for people that aren’t necessarily expected.

Nethaway’s in Gloversville said it responded to three dead battery calls just this morning and expects many more as the frigid week continues.

“This is when you find out how good your battery really is,” Ken Nethaway said this morning. “It could run great any other day, but when the temperature drops, it won’t work at all and it is time for a new battery.”

He said there isn’t much people can do as a precaution to prevent it from happening other than making sure the battery is relatively new.

Joe Licciardi of Smitty’s Service station in Johnstown said eight vehicles for package delivery services did not start this morning and needed assistance due to low batteries.

“It is just one of those things that happen when it gets really cold like this,” Licciardi said.

Temperatures overnight were expected to drop into the single digits across the state with wind chill readings of 15 below. In northern New York and the Adirondacks, the temperature was expected to plunge below zero, with wind chill readings of 20 to 30 below today.

In the Albany area, homeless shelters were in emergency mode with the temperature expected to be around zero this morning. Under their winter protocol, shelters relax some rules, such as taking in intoxicated people, in hopes of preventing freezing deaths.

Art DeGaetano of the Northeast Climate Center at Cornell University said the cold snap this week is typical for upstate New York winters.

“It just seems cold because it’s been two to three years since we’ve seen something along these lines,” he said.

The last time there were three days in a row with the average daily temperature below 20 degrees was in 2009 for Albany, 2010 for Buffalo, and 2011 for Syracuse, DeGaetano said.

“For most places, last winter was among the warmest on record,” DeGaetano said. “So far, we’re also running warmer than normal this winter.”

The New York State Health Department offers tips to stay warm in the cold weather, including:

Keep indoor temperatures between 64 and 75 degrees for healthy people and the minimum temperature should be kept above 68 degrees Fahrenheit to protect the young, elderly or people with health problems.

Watch out for signs of hypothermia. Early signs in adults include shivering, confusion, memory loss, drowsiness, exhaustion and slurred speech.

Take extra precautions to reduce the risk of hypothermia and frostbite when outside. Be sure the outer layer of clothing is tightly woven to reduce body-heat loss caused by wind.

Since cold weather puts an extra burden on the heart, if you have cardiac problems or high blood pressure, follow your doctor’s orders about shoveling or performing any strenuous exercise outside.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this article.

By -