The official temperature at Wilkes Barre Airport of -8 broke all cold weather records back to 1901 when the National Weather Service began keeping track, according to an official meteorologist Monday morning.


In certain areas of Pike and Wayne Counties, temperatures plunged lower posing a threat to area residents.


The official temperature at Wilkes Barre Airport of -8 broke all cold weather records back to 1901 when the National Weather Service began keeping track, according to an official meteorologist Monday morning.

In certain areas of Pike and Wayne Counties, temperatures plunged lower posing a threat to area residents.

In light of these extraordinary frigid conditions, authorities at local aging centers and health officials have issued cold weather warnings to everyone who spends time outside, but especially to the elderly and children under 8.

The Lake Regional Medical Center’s Nurse Manager, Jim Pampo told the News Eagle that upon seeing a local thermomenter at -11 knew there would be problems which could turn severe.

“People are especially vulnerable to hypothermia after leaving a warm area if they don’t cover their heads, hands and feet properly,” he said. “Extremities are effected because the body goes into a fight or flight symdrome. It shuts down peripherally and consolidates the heat to the main organs,” he added.

“Wear scarves to cover the mouth area to avoid breathing in cold air,” he emphasized.

“Do not go out with a wet head and make sure clothes are always dry because the body temperature will be lowered faster,” he pointed out. He also discussed the signs and symptoms that sometimes people ignore such as shivering and skin discoloration with pale skin which are all outward signals.

Area Senior centers warn anyone over 68 to guard against the dangers inherent with freezing temperatures and especially say to not shovel snow or do any strenuous exercise.

Barbara Leary, Administrator the Pike County Senior Center listed various warnings that they issue for seniors but are applicable to everyone. Dress in layers and don’t stay outside any longer than necessary. Keep heat at temperatures no  longer than 65 degrees. Have blankets, flashlights, extra batteries and bottled water available if the power goes off. If anyone loses heat completely, notify the local fire department.

Jackie Sturgis of the Wayne County Department of Aging urged seniors “Make outdoor trips as brief as possible.

When indoors don’t open doors leading to the outside except when absolutely necessary. Keep temperatures up.

The senior center sets its temperature at 70 degrees.

Grace Episcopal Church in Honesdale has set up an emergency shelter for people who have lost heat or need food and is working with local fire and police. The number there is 570-253-2760.