(NECN: Jack Thurston, Burlington, Vt.) - As snow blanketed the northeast Thursday, bitterly cold temperatures added insult to injury. In Vermont's largest city, Burlington, sub-zero temps were in place all day, making for an uncomfortable day for many.
Scott Taylor, a roadside service technician for Handy's Service Center in Burlington, had a busy job responding to problems caused by the extreme cold.
"I've been out straight; yes, sir," he told New England Cable News.
Taylor said most calls Thursday were for drivers whose cars just wouldn't start in the arctic chill.
"A lot of dead batteries," Taylor said. "A lot of tows."
Human bodies didn't work much better than machines, with the temperatures in Burlington ranging from -8 to -11 for most of the day. Fingers wouldn't seem to grip as well as they normally do, and some joked that it was hard to talk with frozen faces. NECN even struggled to get anyone to stand still outdoors for a news interview.
"I've got to keep moving," chuckled the thoroughly-bundled Scudder Kelvie. "I'm just trying to stay warm!"
Kelvie was dressed exactly as doctors say he should have been: protecting as much skin as possible from the cold air, even wearing a face mask.
"Within 10 minutes, you can start getting frostbite," said Dr. Stephen Leffler, the chief medical officer of Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington.
Leffler said bitter cold and blustery winds that make things worse bring two prime concerns. Hypothermia happens when your core temperature drops to a dangerous level. Shivering is top sign you need to get inside and warm up. Frostbite on exposed skin may start looking white or waxy and hard, and get more troubling from there.
"If you start to actually freeze the interior tissue, you can lose fingers, lose toes, lose earlobes, you can even lose a limb," Leffler said.
As for Scott Taylor, an older-model Buick he was working on in Winooski, Vt. never started.
"It's a no-go," he told the car's owner.
Taylor figured he'll have a lot more calls for jumps Friday, with more sub-zero temperatures predicted.