Bitter cold greets the new year in Baltimore

The Baltimore Sun

Bitter cold greeted the new year in Baltimore, with temperatures throughout the region in single digits early Monday morning.

The 7 a.m. temperature was 5 at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, but by 2 p.m. temperatures had “warmed” to about 24 degrees at the Inner Harbor, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures did not rise much above the 20s under partly sunny skies.

Very cold wind chills were recorded in some areas, particularly Western Maryland, according to the NWS. Forecasters warn that cold wind chills can cause frostbite in as little as 30 minutes to exposed skin.

A wind chill advisory means cold air and the wind will combine to create low wind chills. Frost bite and hypothermia can occur if precautions are not taken, according to the weather service.

Tonight will be mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming clear with a low around 12 degrees and with wind chill values as low as minus-4, according to the NWS.

Tuesday is expected to be sunny with highs near 23 and wind chills as low as minus-3.

Wednesday is expected to see a high near 32, and there’s a chance for light snow Wednesday night, according to forecasters.

The prolonged cold has caused a number of water main breaks in Baltimore City and Baltimore County, said Jennifer Combs, a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Works. She said Monday night that workers were in the process of repairing about 28 breaks, including one on East Lombard Street, near South Washington Street, in Upper Fells Point.

That water main break was reported Saturday but had not been fixed as of late Monday.

“We’re tackling them in order of severity,” Combs said. “Especially with this cold snap, our infrastructure is stressed. We’ve been trying to get the message out to home residents.”

The department warns that pipes and utility meters can freeze when the temperature remains below 25 degrees for extended periods of time.

To prevent freezing pipes inside homes, resident’s should let a stream of cold water run from a basement faucet. The department is responsible only for outdoor water lines up to and including the meter, Combs said. The homeowner is responsible for the water lines leading from the meter to the residence.

For water emergencies in Baltimore, residents should call 311, or 410-396-5352 for those in Baltimore County.

Baltimore Sun reporter Jessica Anderson contributed to this article.

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