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Riverhead braces for frigid cold as wind chills may reach 23 below zero


Authorities in Riverhead are warning residents to stay indoors as the National Weather Service is predicting wind chills that could reach 23 degrees below zero Saturday night.

Meteorologists have issued a Wind Chill Advisory from 1 p.m. today until noon tomorrow, saying wind gusts could reach 45 miles per hour tonight.

“This will result in frostbite and lead to hypothermia if precautions are not taken,” the NWS warned in its alert. “Outdoor exposure should be limited. If you are heading outdoors, dress in layers and keep your hands and head covered to protect against frostbite.”

An advisory from Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter said residents should not attempt to spend the day or night without heat.

“If you are without heat, please relocate to a relative’s, friend’s or neighbor’s home,” he said in a written statement. “If you have nowhere to go or in case of an emergency dial 911 or contact the Riverhead Police Department at 631-727-4500.  Stay inside, stay warm, stay informed and as always, stay safe.”

Here are some steps you should take to combat the cold:

• Bundle up. Exposed skin could suffer frostbite from the cold.

• If you have pipes prone to freezing, run water at a trickle and keep cabinet doors open to prevent pipes from freezing.

• Never use a stove or oven to heat your home or use an open flame to melt frozen pipes. This can cause house fires.

• If you must head out, check tire pressure and your car battery. Be sure your car has a winter safety kit that includes a blanket, warm clothes and gloves in case your car breaks down or becomes stranded. Always have a cellphone with you.