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Massena trying to deal with bitter cold


MASSENA - Whether it be drinking a cup of coffee, staying indoors or bracing for the cold and working outside, the Massena community is dealing with the frigid temperatures in many different ways.

In the midst of an extreme cold spell with snow possibly on the way, temperatures in Massena stayed well below 0 on Thursday, and more of the same is expected today.

If the thermometer isn’t enough to let you know that it’s cold, wind chill factors, which should maintain a steady range in the -20s and -30s, are an obvious indication.

“(Thursday night) the low is -17 and Friday night the low is -13,” National Weather Service meteorologist Peter Banacos said. “Winds are going to be cranking out of the northeast and that is the much bigger issue. Wind chill factors will be as bad as 30 to 40 below. Then we should start to warm up on Saturday, into the 20s.”

With the sinking temperatures, businesses like Massena Plumbing Supply and Route 37 Auto Body are frequently called into action.

“We’re having dead car batteries and everything. We’ve had all kinds of things going on. Especially diesel cars are running low in the cold. They are hard to run in this stuff,” Route 37 Auto Body co-owner Peter A. Roberts said. “This happens every year so you can count on it. ... With the ups and downs with the temperature, we’ve been running busy straight through since Thanksgiving.”

“We’re having people with freezing pipes but it’s the norm. Frozen pipes and a little bit of malfunction on heaters and furnaces are typical,” Massena Plumbing Supply Branch Manager Brian Loveless said. “It just comes along with the cold weather each year. It has increased a little bit because of the weather, but it’s kind of the norm when it falls below 0 degrees.”

Dan Nesbitt, Helena, has lived in the north country his whole life and said that even though he has become accustomed to the cold temperatures, it still doesn’t mean he enjoys it.

“I don’t like it, but I’ve learned to deal with it,” he said. “I work outside a lot and have been working outside today. It is really cold. I find it easier to get cool when it’s hot out than it is to stay warm when it’s cold out. It’s easier to find a place to go in the summertime.”

The Dunkin’ Donuts on Massena’s South Main Street has not seen an increase or decrease in customers recently, but manager Jessica Smith has noticed a change in consumer habits in the cold weather.

“There has been a large increase in our drive-thru because people don’t want to get out (of their cars.) Also, some people are just regular iced coffee drinkers. I still get some people who want some Coolattas or some iced coffees, but some of them have switched over to hot beverages,” Ms. Smith said.

While Chicago gets its share of cold temperatures and heavy snow storms, Matt Hart feels that Massena has the Windy City beat out in this cold spell. Mr. Hart, a Massena native, is currently visiting family in the north country.

“The weather is about the same. I think it’s around 0 (in Chicago,)” Mr. Hart said. “I grew up here and am used to it, but this is exceptionally cold right now. I like (the temperatures) to be somewhere in the middle, like a Maui (Hawaii) type temperature.”

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