Editorial: Cold Once More

In the heart of winter, our town transforms into a haven for warmth and community, offering a stark contrast to the biting cold outside. We are incredibly fortunate to be part of a community rich in resources, a rare privilege that should not be overlooked. As temperatures plummet, local organizations work to ensure that no one is left out in the cold.

It’s essential for us to remember the significance of these resources and actively encourage their use. Whether it’s by spreading the word, volunteering, or simply directing someone in need. Utilizing these resources not only aids those in immediate need but also strengthens our community as a whole.

To that end, Greenwich has activated its cold weather protocol and First Selectman Fred Camillo is urging residents to take care and avoid the extreme cold whenever possible.

According to the National Weather Service, temperatures will dip into the teens tonight in the Greenwich region and remain below freezing through the day on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Each of those nights, temperatures are again expected to dangerously fall into the 20’s and teens.

Additionally, there is a chance of snow in the Greenwich area on Thursday and a strong likelihood of snow, with some accumulation, on Friday.

The Greenwich Police Department’s John Margenot Atrium will be open to members of the public 24 hours a day. People can come to the Public Safety Complex at 13 Bruce Place off of Greenwich Avenue to get out of the cold and charge up personal electronic devices like their phones if needed.

Additionally, Greenwich Library and its branches in Cos Cob and Byram will be open during their regular business hours. On Thursday and Friday the main branch of Greenwich Library will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Saturday it will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

People can make use of it as a warming center, charge their devices or use the Internet if they lose service. The Library will also be open on Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.

The Byram Shubert Library will be open from noon to 8 p.m. on Thursday and then on Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cos Cob Library will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The independent Perrot Memorial Library in Old Greenwich will also be open during its regular hours.

The Bendheim Western Greenwich Civic Center can also be used as a warming center during its normal hours of operation.

Gov. Ned Lamont activated Connecticut’s severe cold weather protocol on Wednesday afternoon and it will be in effect until noon on Monday.

People in need of emergency shelter are asked to call 2-1-1 under the state’s protocol. People looking for more information locally can find it by going to the Town’s Emergency Management web page at www.greenwichct.gov/435/EmergencyManagement.

In the case of a police, fire or EMS emergency, people should dial 911 for immediate assistance.

For other issues there are emergency helplines people can call:

Aquarion Water Company 1-800-732-9678
Eversource 1-800-286-2000 CT
Natural Gas Company 1-203-869-6900
Optimum/Altice 1-866-950-3278
Frontier Communications 1-800-239-4430

The Town’s Department of Health is warning residents to take caution during the frigid temperatures and protect themselves against the risk of hypothermia and frostbite. When outdoors, people should wear loose layers of clothing along with a with hat, gloves, scarf and insulated shoes. People should limit their time outdoors and avoid the use of alcohol.

People are also being urged to be careful when using alternative heating sources in their home such as space heaters and fireplaces. The Department of Health said their use increases the risk of household fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.

For proper safety, people should not use portable generators or gasoline-powered equipment inside their homes or garages and never use gas or charcoal grills in the house or garage. People should also have a carbon monoxide detector for their home.

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