Bitter cold blasted Maine on Tuesday with a number of cities opening warming centers and state officials warning people about hypothermia and frostbite risk.
Air temperatures as low as -24 degrees and -26 degrees were recorded in northern Maine on Tuesday morning with wind chills in the same region down as low as -44 degrees.
Wide swaths of Maine were expected to have their coldest daytime highs since 2018.
“Most of all we want to stress people need to stay inside during these extreme temperatures,” said Vanessa Corson, public information officer for the Maine Emergency Management Agency.
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“If you have to go outside, make sure you dress in layers, have a base layer on, make sure your head, fingers and feet are well insulated,” she added.
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Mark Latti, director of communications for Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife echoed Corson, saying his agency advised people to find ways to wick moisture if snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, take breaks inside and go with someone if you have to be outdoors.
“Make sure you tell someone where you’re going and what time you expect to be home,” he said, “that way if something does occur, someone can alert the authorities and we can go search for you and find you quickly."
People in Portland on Tuesday said they definitely noticed the chill, even in a place known for harsh winters.
“It’s kind of got that next level cold feeling to be honest,” said Terrence Wallin, adding that he was wearing extra layers in anticipation of the weather.
One picturesque upside to the bitter blast is that Maine’s infamous Westbook ice disk appeared to be taking its circular shape this week – a sign January is indeed here, no matter how New Englanders feel about it.