FilAms brave the coldest winter

Photo by Polar Vortex

Photo by Polar Vortex

By Maricar CP Hampton

Bone-chilling temperature gripped much of the U.S. this week, causing travel problems and other hazards, but for nurse Jeannette C. Abella, “it’s just another day at the office.”

“We are expected to show up for work even in the worst weather. Even if it looks like a war zone,” Abella, a neonatal nurse at Med Star Health, told The FilAm Metro D.C.

The National Weather Service reported new record lows set at both Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport at 3 degrees and Dulles International at 1 degree early Tuesday with a wind chill of minus 16.

In West Virginia, temperatures took a drastic drop to lows not felt in more than two decades.

Shally Arceno Terso, general manager at Kenwood Care Assisted Living, took the weather in stride.

“Tuesday is my shopping day for all four facilities at Costco. I just bundled up,” she said.

The extreme cold and strong winds caused some troubles for travel in the region as jumbled wires delayed light rail service in Baltimore and a cracked rail caused some delays on the Metro’s red line in Washington D.C.

Districts school throughout the metro region reacted differently to the forecasts of frigid temperatures with some opting to open as usual, others deciding to close for the day and some delaying their start by two hours.

“With my job overseeing four facilities, weather is not an exemption,” said Terso. “Hot or cold weather my shopping must go on because if I don’t then they will not have enough supplies.”

Terso said the extreme weather “bothered” her.

“Even if I bundled up with the cold wind my skin was numb and feels like it’s burning.”

Abella, on the other hand, has learned to adjust to the changing weather patterns.

“I try to be creative almost rehearsing how to brave the cold and planning everything from layers of clothes to how I would run to my car, to food/ baon, to sleeping bags at work,” she said with a laugh.

On Wednesday, January 8, after the region suffered through the artic wind blast that caused car batteries to die and pipes to burst, it was predicted that the cold weather will continue for a few more days before a slow warm up begins.

Fortunately for Art Caliguiran, who works at the Department of Education, the rollercoaster weather, was not much of a hassle.

“I commute from my garage to the front of my building so the weather doesn’t really affect me except when I walk from my car to my building which is about 30 feet,” he said.

Abella made a good point, “I think Filipinos can adjust to almost anything so this is just another typical cold day.”

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