Health Department warns of extreme cold, wind chill


The Broome County Office of Emergency Services is continuing to monitor the latest weather reports from the National Weather Service in Binghamton.

The NWS Binghamton is reporting Tuesday-Thursday’s forecasts include temperatures in the single digits and dangerously low wind chills below zero (-20 and below). The lowest wind chills will occur Wednesday night.

“Our top priority is making sure our residents in Broome County are safe this week with this extreme cold,” said County Executive Jason Garnar. “As soon as I received word of the dangerously low temperatures, I deployed our Office of Emergency Services and Health Department officials to work closely to inform the public of what we can expect and to take action if residents lose power and need help.”

As the wind chill increases and temperatures fall to below zero in the Broome County this week, county officials are taking precautions and urging residents to stay safe.

The Broome County Health Department advises that if you must go outdoors, take precautions to keep dry and warm to protect your health. Adults and children should wear: a hat, a scarf or knit mask to cover face and mouth, sleeves that are snug at the wrist, mittens, water-resistant coat and shoes and several layers of loose-fitting clothing to trap body heat.

The outer layer of clothing should be tightly woven, preferably, wind resistant, to reduce body-heat loss caused by wind. Wool, silk, or polypropylene inner layers of clothing will hold more body heat than cotton.

Dressing appropriately for cold weather can help decrease your risk of getting hypothermia or frostbite, two cold weather concerns.

Warning signs of hypothermia include confusion, shivering, difficult speaking, sleepiness and stiff muscles.

In addition to significant risks of hypothermia/frostbite, this may cause problems such as frozen pipes if preventive measures are not taken. Broome County EMS responds to house fires each year caused by people using open flames to thaw frozen pipes.

Do not use an open flame to thaw pipes, as this presents serious risks to people and property.

Improper use of alternative heat sources could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Office of Emergency Services and Health Department are on standby to work with the American Red Cross to establish warming centers, only if there is a widespread power outage in the county.

The Health Department has compiled a list of public places residents can go to get in from the cold. Residents should check with the establishments for their hours of operation before visiting. 

Those places in Broome County include:

  • Broome County Public Library, 185 Court Street, Binghamton, 13901, 607-778-6400
  • Broome West Senior Center, 2801 Wayne Street, Endwell, 13760, 607-785-3427
  • Deposit Senior Center, 14 Monument Street, Deposit, 13754, 607-467-3953
  • Eastern Broome Senior Center, 27 Golden Lane, Harpursville, 13787, 607-693-2069
  • Fenton Free Library, 1062 Chenango Street, Binghamton, 13901, 607-724-8649
  • George F Johnson Memorial Library, 1001 Park Street, Endicott, 13760, 607-757-5350
  • Johnson City Senior Center, 30 Brocton Street, Johnson City, 13790,607-797-3145
  • Mary L Wilcox Library, 2630 Main Street, Whitney Point, 13862, 607-692-3159
  • North Shore Towers Senior Center, 24 Isbell Street, Binghamton, 13901, 607-772-6214
  • Northern Broome Senior Center, 12 Strongs Place, Whitney Point, 13862, 607-692-3405
  • Oakdale Mall, 601-635 Harry L Drive, Johnson City, 13790, 607-798-9380
  • Vestal Senior Center, 201 Main Street, Vestal, 13850, 607-754-9596
  • Your Home Public Library, 107 Main Street, Johnson City, 13790, 607-797-4816

Due to dangerously low temperatures and wind chill in Broome County, BC Transit is opening its doors to those in need.

On Friday, February 1st, BC Transit will not turn any rider away due to inability to pay. If an individual is in need of a ride on our buses to get out of the cold and/or to be transported to somewhere warm and cannot afford the fare, Broome County will cover the cost.

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar said, “We want our residents in Broome County to be safe and protect themselves in this extreme cold and have somewhere warm to go such as a BC Transit bus. We are telling our Transit officials to alert drivers not to turn anyone away on Thursday due to inability to pay.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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