NEW YORK (WABC) -- After an above-average January, an arctic blast of cold weather is sweeping across the Tri-State area.
The wind chill is the biggest threat overnight and into Saturday morning.
It will feel like -9 in Manhattan, -24 in Hartford, Connecticut and -51 degrees in Bangor, Maine. In Maine, the record lowest wind chills are in jeopardy.
In fact, 25 million Americans across nine states in the Northeast are under Wind Chill Advisories and Warnings into Saturday.
Frostbite can occur on exposed skin in as little s 5-10 minutes. Both people and pets should limit or avoid being outdoors.
Emergency Management Commissioner Zachary Iscol says the city's biggest concerns over the next 36 hours are fire danger and people being outside for too long.
"The temperatures are going to be very low, cold weather can be very deadly -- don't go outside if you don't need to," Iscol said.
Officials say there are increased changes of fires in cold weather due to use of space heaters.
"If you are staying inside and you need to stay warm, and you are using a space heater, space heaters need space," Iscol said. "Make sure you are giving it space, keeping it three feet away from things, don't leave it alone in a room with a child."
Experts warn if you are leaving, make sure to unplug the space heater and don't use a stove to heat your apartment.
Also, don't use electric blankets on infants, children or anyone who can't remove it or turn it off by themselves.
The MTA advised customers it is taking the following steps to keep commuters safe:
Long Island Rail Road
Long Island Rail Road will add personnel to monitor the impact of the extreme cold on tracks and key switching locations and make adjustments/repairs as needed. Station waiting rooms will be opened earlier and will remain open overnight during the cold snap.
Metro-North will conduct cold weather track patrols and increase Power Department and Communication and Signal employee coverage to inspect, maintain, and repair any weather/temperature-related damages or impacts, as needed.
New York City Transit
NYC Transit Department of Safety will have additional personnel monitoring real-time conditions -- ready to respond to weather-related issues as they arise.
NYC Transit Department of Buses will have all locations with outside parking cycle buses per the cold weather policy to ensure fleet readiness. Additional Depot and Road Operations personnel will be on hand to minimize any service or equipment interruptions that may arise.
MTA Bridges and Tunnels
With high winds expected in addition to cold temperatures, MTA Bridges and Tunnels will be implementing a ban on empty tractor-trailers and tandem (piggyback, dual, triple, etc.) trucks from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 3. The pedestrian walkways at the Cross Bay and Marine Parkway Bridges will also be closed during this time. The pedestrian walkways at the Robert F. Kennedy and Henry Hudson bridges will remain open weather permitting.
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