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Braving the Bitter Blast: Central New Yorker's vs. Polar Vortex

It's round two of the “Polar Vortex.” State officials have issued weather warnings and encourage everyone to avoid the outdoors as much as possible, but for some, that's just not an option.
It's round two of the “Polar Vortex.” State officials have issued weather warnings and encourage everyone to avoid the outdoors as much as possible, but for some, that's just not an option.
There may not be snow on the ground but transportation crews still had their hands full Thursday.
"There are other groups out there today working on patching holes, there's some ice issues developing where water is coming across the road so we've got some crews out there working on that,” said Jim Piccola of the New York State Department of Transportation.
A job that requires direct contact with the polar vortex. Piccola says his crews take serious precautions before battling the elements.
"Making sure that their skin is not exposed and that they're not staying out in the elements too long, take a little bit of a break, come back out and do what they need to do,” said Piccola.
“I was outside this morning, it was pretty chilly out,” said Fred Streiff.
Just like the extreme heat, Piccola says it's important for workers to monitor what they eat and drink.
"We want to make sure when the crews do go out that they've eaten, they're definitely hydrated and they have the proper attire on," says Piccola.
"Gloves, jacket, my face was covered," says Streiff.
While everyone's trying to stay indoors and dodge this polar vortex, there's just some daily tasks you can't avoid.
"Cannot avoid getting gas especially with how much I go through it driving, my hand is freezing! " said Sarah Kucerak from Newport.
"I kept on saying I wish there was one of those full-service I would have paid anything today just so I wouldn't have to be outside because it is cold, it is really cold,” said Fran Einhorn visiting from Rockland.
Even loading groceries has become a sprint in this winter weather blast.
"Actually, it's very cold, and the wind is worse and I’m just trying to get my groceries in the car so I can get home," said Virginia Borek shopping at Price Chopper in Utica.
Piccola says in terms of his construction crews, they tend to be working on paperwork and outlining projects during these extreme temperatures.


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