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Deep Freeze! Maryland Layers Up To Protect Against Record Cold Temperatures

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McCorkel Meghan 370x278 (2) Meghan McCorkell
Meghan McCorkell joined the Eyewitness News team in July 2011 as a...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP) — Frigid temperatures. Maryland is in the middle of another blast of winter weather. This time, we’re facing record cold temperatures. Marylanders are bundling up and bracing for the cold.

The National Weather Service says Tuesday’s highs will get only into the mid-teens after a night in the single digits.

Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport broke a decades-old record low for Jan. 7. The temperature was 3 degrees at BWI just before 6 a.m. Tuesday with a wind chill of minus 16. The airport’s previous record for the day was set in 1988 at 8 degrees.

State transportation officials are reminding commuters to dress in layers. They’re urging motorists to start out with a full tank.  They also say travelers should carry extra blankets and snacks, and keep cell phones fully charged.

Related Story: Extreme Cold Leaves Motorists Stranded; AAA Gets More Than 1,000 Calls In An Hour

Meghan McCorkell has more on some of the issues this cold weather is causing.

There are problems all over the region. In Hampden, where water repairs are underway, a hydrant has frozen solid. The water from it is creating an ice slick all the way down Union Avenue.

Unbearable cold has people bundling up as sidewalks turn to ice in Federal Hill.

“We walked here and we couldn’t feel our cheeks,” said one person.

“Three years in Baltimore, it’s never been this cold. It’s terrible,” said another.

The deep freeze is creating dangerous conditions across Maryland. Crews evacuated a Rockville nursing home after a water leak; 28 people were taken to a nearby church.

Five people were injured–including three firefighters–in a Locust Point rowhome fire. Fighting the flames was more difficult with two hydrants frozen.

“Just a little bit of water in the caps or the down in the well can make it impossible to get the water out,” said Ian Brennan, Baltimore Fire Department.

Once they found water, there were even more issues. In the aftermath of the fire, much of Cooksie Street was just a sheet of ice.

Ice was a big problem for David Nickelson. His car was encased in it after getting caught in a water main break.

“It’s just like a big block of ice–both wheels, all the way from the base. You can’t even get in it. At least five inches or better,” Nickelson said.

He’s not the only one left in the lurch. AAA responded to dead batteries all over town.

“We’re totally swamped right now. I mean, I’ve got calls on my computer sitting right now as we speak,” said Nick Kruma-Phillips, AAA.

BGE crews are also working overtime.

“It’s nonstop. We’ve got crews coming in and going all day,” said Eric Remmell.

They’ll keep going to make sure the heat stays on.

BGE has crews staged across the area to respond to outages more quickly.

The city of Baltimore has declared a Severe Cold Blue emergency.

The city activated the Emergency Operations Center Monday night and officials are asking neighbors to check on each other.

Baltimore’s Homeless Services Program has an emergency shelter open at 210 Guilford Ave. in addition to nearly a dozen shelters it operates year-round. Director Kate Briddell says that shelter will be open through Wednesday.

She says the agency is coordinating an outreach effort to offer shelter to people on the streets.

Anne Arundel County is opening seven senior activity centers as warming centers.

The county’s Department of Aging and Disabilities says the centers will be open Tuesday during normal business hours.

The department’s transportation program will accept calls starting at 8 a.m. to transport county residents of all ages to warming centers.

Centers will be open in Annapolis, Arnold, Odenton, Pasadena, Glen Burnie and Edgewater.

Light rail service was delayed Tuesday after winds tangled overhead wires, forcing trains to use one track. Officials have added additional trains.

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