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Md. Monitoring Road Conditions Ahead Of Big Freeze

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Frigid temperatures. Maryland is preparing for another blast of winter weather. This time, we’re facing record cold temperatures. Numbers are still dropping and are not yet close to their final low. But already, Baltimoreans are bundling up and bracing for the cold.

Meghan McCorkell has more on how people are braving some of the coldest temperatures in 20 years.

Temperatures are expected to drop so low, the city of Baltimore has declared a Severe Cold Blue emergency.

There are empty sidewalks in Hampden as people take shelter from the frigid weather.

“I’ve got my wood stove going, and everything is cranked up,” said one.

“I’m putting on lots of layers,” said 11-year-old Leon Bell.

The city activated the emergency operations center Monday night and officials are asking neighbors to check on each other.

Frostbite and hypothermia are real concerns for anyone outside for extended periods of time.

“Make sure you’ll stay in a warm place because re-warming and freezing again is the worst thing you can do,” said Dr. Dov Frankel, Sinai Hospital ER. “Really be careful with the young children, really be careful with the elderly people, and try to stay in as much as you can.”

So how cold is it? On TV Hill, if you take a cup of hot water and throw it, it freezes before it hits the ground.

Elizabeth Hartlove is a dog walker.

“When it’s freezing cold, you take them out to do their business, and then, you take them right back in.  Their paws get too cold on the ground. Their feet, they hurt.  You can see some dogs, they start limping,” she said.

There’s still snow on the ground, and that can re-freeze and create some dangerously slick situations.

Wind warnings are in place at the Bay Bridge where 18-wheelers are vulnerable to the strong crosswinds.

The cold is already causing infrastructure issues.

There was a water main break in Northeast Baltimore and BGE has increased staff to keep the light and the heat on. People are asked to conserve electricity, especially between 6-9 a.m. and 3-7 p.m.

“You will see crews staged throughout the service area as early as tonight and through tomorrow morning,” said BGE spokesperson Rachael Lighty.

The Starks home has been without heat for several days because of a faulty furnace…until now.

“Oh, we’re going to sleep warm tonight. Yeah, real warm,” said Elloise Starks.

The freezing cold also has AAA working overtime, responding to nearly 22,000 calls for service since Friday.

“Over the last couple of days, my understanding is 41 percent of our calls have been for batteries,” said Ed Kristen, AAA Mid-Atlantic.

The roads aren’t the only place people are having problems. At BWI, the storm moving across the country is causing delays and cancellations.

Page Schultz is stuck trying to get to Rhode Island.

“Hopefully it doesn’t get canceled,” Schultz said.

Airlines are hoping to cut down on cancellations Tuesday. Nationally, 9,000 flights have been canceled since Friday.

Baltimore City already has two cold-related deaths this winter. Officials are hoping to avoid any more.

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