It was so cold Wednesday morning that Metro-North trains had to operate at reduced speeds, because the steel in the train tracks became brittle and cracked in a few places. The extreme cold also affected circuits, Metro-North officials said.
It was so cold that in Madison were wondering if there are any full-service gas stations in town. thanks to customers who say it's just too cold to pump it themselves.
It was so cold that people were turning to non-traditional sources of heat, such as woodstoves. In nearby Clinton, fire department responded to two fires overnight, caused by wood stoves.
Still, there was one good thing about the frigid morning--where temperatures felt like 6 degrees below zero when the wind chill was factored in--and that was that the morning temperatures made the afternoon temperatures of 17 degrees (and sunny!) feel not so bad.
"I must admit to feeling a wee bit chilly out there!" Madison Patch reader Laura Hartmann said on Facebook Wednesday afternoon. "I am enjoying the sunshine however."
The following is a release from Metro North on the cold weather and the trains:
The delays you experienced this morning were the result of the impact of the extremely cold temperatures on our tracks and signal system.
Steel rail is affected by extreme hot or cold weather. In the severe cold, rail becomes brittle and contracts. This morning, the frigid temperatures resulted in broken rail at several locations.
This not only forced us to take sections of track out of service, but also impacted the circuits of our signal system. To ensure the safe operation of trains, we had to operate at reduced speeds.
The cold weather also resulted in several switch failures, adding to the congestion and delays.
We regret any inconvenience you may have experienced as a result of these weather-related problems.