BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Snow, blistering cold and biting wind chill seems to be the new norm in Maryland, where conditions are wreaking havoc across the state.
Almost all of Maryland is under a Wind Chill Advisory until noon Saturday. The Baltimore City Health Department has extended the Code Blue Alert that was originally issued on Christmas night to Monday morning.
Just weeks into the season, winter has slammed the Baltimore area, and the deep freeze has created major problems for an aging infrastructure. Dozens of water main breaks have cropped up across the area — so much so that the Department of Public Works can’t keep up. DPW issued mandatory, 12-hour overtime shifts without leave beginning today.
The aftermath of the water main breaks has left roads and back allies looking more like ice skating rinks. Meanwhile, residents have been left wondering how they can get their frozen cars out of neighborhoods.
“In terms of temperature, it’s the coldest I’ve ever felt,” Canton resident Russell Phillips said. “It’s just freezing and I’m wondering how I can get to work.”
Doctors are warning about the deadly conditions — especially for those outside for long periods of time.
“It’s hard to appreciate how truly dangerous extreme weather can be,” says Dr. Emmanuel Oke of Sinai Hospital’s emergency department. “It definitely can be fatal. There are patients who every year lose their lives due to extreme weather.”
Doctors also say it only takes 30 minutes or less to cause frostbite.
The winter storm also lashed Maryland’s coastline, where Ocean City residents are still digging out from the blizzard.
From snow drifts on the boardwalk to the frigid waters off the inlet, Ocean City is in a deep freeze.
One day after the storm, plenty of people were getting stuck on ice-coated streets.
Ann McGinnis Hillyer’s car got stuck in the snow and ice.
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“It absolutely is. This is what life is all about — people like these people,” McGinnis Hillyer said as several people helped to push her car out.
Others were seen doing donuts in the inlet parking lot, a few surfers catching some waves with water temperatures around 30 degrees, and plenty of people navigating the streets on foot despite the life-threatening cold temperatures.
“I’m going to thaw out and sit back and get ready for work on Monday,” Archie Sturgis Jr. said.
Meanwhile, plows are working over time to keep roads clear because of drifting snow.
“The best thing to do is stay home, because it’s no different than it was yesterday, except it just stopped snowing,”
There was no major flooding like there was in New England, but temperatures are still dangerously cold.