Tri-town residents cozy up in wake of extreme cold snap

By Andrea Ray and Tanner Harding | Jan 03, 2018
Photo by: Andrea Ray These Rochester residents braved the cold temperatures to spend time in the center of iced-over Snipatuit Pond.

More than a week of temperatures in single-digits or the teens has some tri-town residents hunkering down… and others stocking up on ice scrapers.

Greg Ridl, owner of the 7-Eleven in Mattapoisett, and employee Heather MacGregor mused about the temperatures on Tuesday.

"We've sold a lot more of the windshield scrapers," MacGregor said. "And we've sold a lot of the windshield washer fluid. It seems like everyone is running out."

And while the pair has heard a lot from customers about the icy temperatures, it doesn’t seem their habits changed.

"It's funny, because everyone is complaining about how cold it is, but they're still coming in to get their Mega Millions and Powerball tickets," MacGregor said.

"And their iced coffee," Lidl jumped in.

There is evidence of some residents choosing to hole up at home rather than trek out into the cold. At the Rochester Senior Center, according to director Sharon Lally, things quieted down as the temperature dropped.

"I've actually had fewer people in than usual," Lally said Tuesday. "When it's cold out, they all stay home."

Lally noted that there have been fewer calls for Council on Aging transportation as well.

At Lloyd's Market in Rochester, owner Dan Costa said that while he wasn't keeping a tally, he wouldn't be surprised if the number of customers dipped a little.

"I don't know for sure," he said, "but in my general experience with running a grocery, there are two reasons why people don't come in: it's pouring rain, or it's cold outside."

But as the chill stretched into a week, Lally said, it seemed that people recovered.

"Of course, now that the cold has gone on so long, people are getting used to it," she added. "We had a breakfast here and the usual breakfast crowd came in. They're still coming in for activities.”

Lally offered some ways all residents can keep warm -- and safe -- during the cold snap.

Lally advised residents to leave faucets running a tiny bit and and leave cabinet doors open to any exposed piping in an effort to keep pipes from freezing.

She also advised caution when using space heaters, as materials placed too close to the heat source can quickly cause fires.

"Everyone should be careful using space heaters, especially the elderly," she advised. "They're very dangerous."

The Rochester Senior Center, Sippican Elementary School, and Old Rochester Regional High School are designated emergency shelters in the event of a major power loss or other weather event. Call your town’s police station to check whether shelters are open.

 

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