BOSTON (AP) – New England states are bracing for extreme cold that is already shutting down some schools and threatening the electricity grid this week.
Boston, the state’s largest public school district, announced Monday that schools will not open Tuesday due to the expected extremely cold temperatures.
The maximum in the city on Tuesday is expected to be 12 degrees Fahrenheit, with wind chills dropping it as low as minus 8, according to National Weather Service forecasters. It could appear as low as minus 15 in parts of Massachusetts, according to the Weather Service.
Such low temperatures can lead to frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes. Shutting down schools before the cold weather is the safest approach in Boston, Mayor Michelle Wu said.
“We want to make sure that there is no risk that students will either be out in the cold on their way to school or have problems at school due to the ventilation needed with the pandemic,” said Wu, who added that the district is also facing shortages. in staff and bus drivers.
And it could get even colder elsewhere in New England, as forecasters have said the wind chill could approach minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit in parts of western Maine. Central Maine Power, the state’s largest utility, said it expects electricity use to increase on Tuesday due to the use of electric heaters and fireplaces.
The utility said it encouraged customers to caulk windows and open curtains to let in the sun’s heat and allow sunlight to reduce reliance on electricity during the cold snap.
“We often see an increase in electricity consumption with cold temperatures like what is expected this week,” said Linda Ball, vice president of customer service at CMP.
Low temperatures below zero, not counting wind chill, are also expected in Burlington, Vermont, and Concord, New Hampshire. Southern New England is unlikely to be spared, as forecasters have said Providence, Rhode Island should expect a wind chill as low as minus one degree Fahrenheit.