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Bitter Cold Blast Taking Toll Across Pittsburgh Area

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – This is the kind of cold that can take a toll on not just you, but also your car and your house too.

Whether it’s your vehicle or the plumbing in your home, many people still don’t prepare for the temperatures that we’ll be seeing overnight and through the weekend.

But for one group of people, these single digits temperatures could make for life and death situations.

We all know to bundle up for the single digit temperatures before heading outside, but many still neglect or don’t think about how the cold impacts other aspects of our lives – starting with the two biggest issues people have with their vehicle.

“The number one problem area is batteries, by far. I believe everybody knows batteries lose efficiency in cold weather and we’re staring at five degrees,” said Lou Ickes, of AAA Auto Repair program. “The proper antifreeze mix, it should be a 50/50 mix between the solution and water to get you to minus 20 degrees, or else you’ll have a frozen engine problem.”

Also, with temperatures not getting out of the teens Saturday, that could pose a danger in your home in the form of freezing pipes.

“When water freezes, it expands. It can split the line open or it can break joints,” said Bernie Stadelman, a plumber with Beverly Services. “When they start to thaw, they will start running water; they will flood your house. If you can heat-tape them, do in exposed areas; but if you cannot, if you can leave your water just trickle in a faucet.”

But for those less fortunate, this Arctic blast goes beyond dangerous. It can be deadly for those who need shelter.

It’s a lifesaver for some. It’s all they got,” said George Fletcher, of the Smithfield United Church of Christ.

The church in downtown Pittsburgh opens it’s doors on cold winter nights to the area homeless.

“We have hot meals for them. They can take showers. People come and change clothes, we give them clothes, got a medical clinic. [We’ve got a] doctor down here,” said Fletcher. “We’ve been averaging on 90 something guys; most we had was 117 people including the women, so we’re prepared.”

MORE INFORMATION: Operation Safety Net

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