As the cold descended on the region overnight Monday, the number of warming centers open throughout Allegheny County grew.
Centers in Carnegie, Clairton, Munhall, Oakdale, Shaler, West Deer, and West Mifflin were open all night. Several other location in the county and five in the City of Pittsburgh were to open Tuesday morning.
Temperatures dipped as low as nine degrees below zero over night and are expected to clime to just seven above throughout the day.
A few scattered power outages were reported throughout the region. Crews were responding to each call individually. Allegheny County officials asked that anyone without power call their service provider as soon as possible.
The regional transmission organization that coordinates the movement of electricity in Western Pennsylvania an all or parts of 12 other states and the District of Columbia has asked power companies in its service area to call on their customers to conserve electricity between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and again between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. in an effort to make sure the system does not become over loaded.
Duquesne Light suggested that customers set thermostats lower than usual during those hours if possible, and postpone using major electric appliances such as stoves, dishwashers and clothes dryers until midday or after 9 p.m.
The Port Authority of Allegheny County says its buses and the “T” were running at the beginning of the morning commute without any major disruptions.
Schools throughout Western Pennsylvania were closed in advance of the cold snap that brought with it wind chills of minus 31. Officials were concerned for students who would have to stand at bus stops in conditions where skin could freeze in five minutes or less.
The Community College of Allegheny County will be closed Tuesday.
U.S. District Courts in Pittsburgh and Erie closed Monday night and will remain closed until Wednesday. Allegheny County Courts are also closed.
Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Michael Huss reminded city residents that if the need help staying warm they should call the 3-1-1 help line. 9-1-1 should be used only if there is an emergency. Allegheny County residents can get help by dialing 2-1-1.