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The extreme cold burst some pipes, at a Boston hospital and theater

Arctic sea smoke rises from the the Atlantic Ocean as a passenger ferry passes House Island Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023, off the coast of Portland, Maine. (Robert F. Bukaty/AP)
Arctic sea smoke rises from the the Atlantic Ocean as a passenger ferry passes House Island Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023, off the coast of Portland, Maine. (Robert F. Bukaty/AP)

Temperatures in many areas of the Northeast U.S. climbed to the mid-40s Fahrenheit on Sunday, a day after the region suffered through temperatures that plummeted into the negative teens and felt like minus 45 to minus 50 degrees with the wind chill.

Atop 6,288-foot Mount Washington in New Hampshire, the temperature rose to a relatively balmy 18 degrees (8 Celsius) a day after the actual temperature nosedived to minus 47 F (minus 44 C) and the wind chill was measured in excess of minus 108 degrees.

In greater Boston, there was some collateral damage from the extreme cold and high winds.

Boston Medical Center closed its emergency department after a pipe froze and burst on Saturday night. It is expected to remain closed until Tuesday.

“All patients in the affected areas of the Emergency Department were safely moved to other areas of the hospital," the center said in a tweet.

Hospital officials are asking people to get urgent care at other nearby hospitals in the meantime.

Boston's Boch Center Wang Theater was forced to cancel two sold-out shows by the Impractical Jokers when a sprinkler pipe in the boiler room burst at about 5 p.m. Saturday, the theater said on social media.

The building was evacuated and the shows canceled when the fire department and theater management determined the system could not be quickly repaired. The shows were rescheduled for late April.

James “Murr” Murray of the Impractical Jokers posted his own apology on Twitter.

“To all of our Boston fans, so sorry about tonight. We were five minutes from showtime, with a full theater, at the first show tonight, and the pipes burst from the cold in Boston and flooded the entire basement of the theater," he said in a short video.

So far, this weekend's shows are still on as scheduled.

Fred Webster, the owner of Milltown Plumbing and Heating in Chelmsford, said his plumbers were overloaded with calls.

"This is by far the event of the year, at a 10-times proportion — easy. We haven't had anything like this in a few years," he said. "Fortunately it ended quickly."

Other parts of New England saw similar damage.

A Providence, Rhode Island armory being used as a warming center had some of its windows blown out by raging winds on Friday into Saturday, but repairs were soon completed. No one at the Cranston Street Armory was ever in danger, Matthew Sheaff, a spokesperson for Gov. Dan McKee, said in an email Sunday. People simply moved to other rooms, he said.

The above average temperatures were expected to stick around awhile, said Bob Oravec, the lead forecaster at the National Weather Service in College Park, Maryland.

“We're having much more milder flow across a good part of the country and we do expect the temperatures to be above average for the upcoming week across the good part of the country, especially the Northeast," Oravec said.


With reporting from The Associated Press and WBUR's Walter Wuthmann and Samantha Coetzee.

The Associated Press' Paul Weber in Austin, Texas and Julie Walker in New York contributed to this report.



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