Erie Deserted as Most Hunker Down, Avoiding the Cold - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Erie Deserted as Most Hunker Down, Avoiding the Cold

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Along with most of the country, the Erie area was bitterly cold on Tuesday. Nearly half of all Erie flights were canceled, and empty parking lots at both schools and businesses showed that most people chose to stay warm, and stay home. 

Penelec reported a noticeable increase in energy usage from people cranking up the furnace.

"Very cold temperatures do have an adverse affect on energy usage," said Bill Jerin, external affairs manager at Penelec. "There's a higher demand for heat, higher demand for basically your whole house because it's so cold out there," he said.

Another sign of the weather: nearly sold out space heaters at Lowe's. Some sought the portable heaters due to the sheer cold. Others, because their pipes froze.

""The only things we've really been selling these last couple of days are space heaters and snow blowers, with the weather, people trying to stay warm, and keep their sidewalks clean," said Natalie Coleman, a department manager at Lowe's on upper Peach Street.

"The pickings are pretty slim, so we'll take what we can get," said Ron Kunco, an Erie resident whose pipes froze overnight.

Even those who usually enjoy the season are ready for warmer temperatures.

"For me personally, I like cold weather. But not too much cold like this day," said Kadhim Muhsin of Erie, who was also purchasing a space heater on Tuesday.

There's some good news though: the "polar vortex" keeping the temperatures so low is on its way out. Temperatures in Erie are expected to be in the 40s on Friday, which is above average for this time of the year.

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