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Despite brutal cold, life goes on in Western Pennsylvania

Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review - Ice from vents greets those who pass through the 4700 block of Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review</em></div>Ice from vents greets those who pass through the 4700 block of Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - The subzero temperature is displayed at dawn on the Lesco Federal Credit Union Sign along Ligonier Street in Latrobe on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>The subzero temperature is displayed at dawn on the Lesco Federal Credit Union Sign along Ligonier Street in Latrobe on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.
Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review - A thermometer at Laurel Mountain Chiropractic along Route 31 near Mt. Pleasant shows the frigid temperature at 8 a.m. on Jan. 28, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Sean Stipp  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>A thermometer at Laurel Mountain Chiropractic along Route 31 near Mt. Pleasant shows the frigid temperature at 8 a.m. on Jan. 28, 2014.
Guy Wathen | Tribune-Review - Sunrise reveals a frozen Allegheny River in downtown Pittsburgh on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Guy Wathen | Tribune-Review</em></div>Sunrise reveals a frozen Allegheny River in downtown Pittsburgh on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.
James Knox | Tribune-Review - The morning sun rises over downtown Pittsburgh amid double-digit negative wind chills Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>James Knox | Tribune-Review</em></div>The morning sun rises over downtown Pittsburgh amid double-digit negative wind chills Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review - Emily Horstman, 21, of Oakland, walks Pitt's campus in Oakland in shorts and leggings as temperatures dipped below zero degrees on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. 'It's nothing at all,' said Horstman, who grew up around similar temperatures in Minnesota.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review</em></div>Emily Horstman, 21, of Oakland, walks Pitt's campus in Oakland in shorts and leggings as temperatures dipped below zero degrees on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. 'It's nothing at all,' said Horstman, who grew up around similar temperatures in Minnesota.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review - A worker with Disaster Relief Services chips away at the ice that has enveloped cars following a water main break on Ormsby Avenue in Mt. Oliver on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review</em></div>A worker with Disaster Relief Services chips away at the ice that has enveloped cars following a water main break on Ormsby Avenue in Mt. Oliver on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.
- Joe Zimmer sits in the warming center at Light of Life Mission, Tuesday. Zimmer was evicted from his apartment in Bellevue, Monday, and is staying at the Light of Life until he gets a place of his own. Light of Life opened its door all day to those in need so they could stay out of the figid temperatures and get a meal or hot shower.
Joe Zimmer sits in the warming center at Light of Life Mission, Tuesday. Zimmer was evicted from his apartment in Bellevue, Monday, and is staying at the Light of Life until he gets a place of his own. Light of Life opened its door all day to those in need so they could stay out of the figid temperatures and get a meal or hot shower.
Guy Wathen | Tribune-Review - Jessica Warchall of the South Side stays bundled up while waiting for the bus to take her to work at the intersection of E. Carson St. and S. 11th St. in the South Side on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Guy Wathen | Tribune-Review</em></div>Jessica Warchall of the South Side stays bundled up while waiting for the bus to take her to work at the intersection of E. Carson St. and S. 11th St. in the South Side on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review - Larry Booth, 45, of Homestead walks past a steam vent on Amity Street in Homestead on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Andrew Russell  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Larry Booth, 45, of Homestead walks past a steam vent on Amity Street in Homestead on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review - Bill Hodges, 34, a driver for Kendall Towing in West View replaces the battery on a client's car on Broadway in Stowe Township, Tuesday. Reports of vehicles with dead batteries from the cold riddled the region keeping AAA and towing services busy throughout the day.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Andrew Russell  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Bill Hodges, 34, a driver for Kendall Towing in West View replaces the battery on a client's car on Broadway in Stowe Township, Tuesday. Reports of vehicles with dead batteries from the cold riddled the region keeping AAA and towing services busy throughout the day.
Jasmine Goldband | Tribune-Review - Thaeshwesin Tun, 21, a student from Myanmar covers her face as she crosses W. Commons on her way home from school on the North Side Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jasmine Goldband  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Thaeshwesin Tun, 21, a student from Myanmar covers her face as she crosses W. Commons on her way home from school on the North Side Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.
Heidi Murrin | Tribune-Review - Jamie Sansone navigates some slippery steps in Brighton Heights Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Heidi Murrin  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Jamie Sansone navigates some slippery steps in Brighton Heights Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.
James Knox | Tribune-Review - Bill Burke of Greenfield gets in some ice time before work on the frozen surface of the pond at the bottom of Panther Hollow Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 in Oakland.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>James Knox | Tribune-Review</em></div>Bill Burke of Greenfield gets in some ice time before work on the frozen surface of the pond at the bottom of Panther Hollow Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 in Oakland.
Justin Merriman | Tribune-Review - Firefighters endure the elements as they battle a fire at 2020 Dartmore Street in Carrick on a frigid Tuesday, January 28, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Justin Merriman  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Firefighters endure the elements as they battle a fire at 2020 Dartmore Street in Carrick on a frigid Tuesday, January 28, 2014.
Sean Stipp | Tribune-Review - Eric and Holly Haralson of Akron, Ohio, ride the Polar Bear Express ski lift at Seven Springs Mountain Resort on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Sean Stipp  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Eric and Holly Haralson of Akron, Ohio, ride the Polar Bear Express ski lift at Seven Springs Mountain Resort on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review - James Little of Murrysville, a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, is bundled up while walking across the Latrobe campus in the bitter cold on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Barry Reeger  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>James Little of Murrysville, a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, is bundled up while walking across the Latrobe campus in the bitter cold on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.
Eric Felack | Valley News Dispatch - Terry Lilly (left), owner of Terry's Service, and co-worker Larry Volk brave the sub-zero temperatures to free a truck that was stuck on the Norfolk Sounthern train tracks on East Fifth Avenue in Brackenridge on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. The trucker, who was from Texas, did not see the snow-covered tracks while turning from Morgan Street. Train traffic was shut down for 90 minutes.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Eric Felack  |  Valley News Dispatch</em></div>Terry Lilly (left), owner of Terry's Service, and co-worker Larry Volk brave the sub-zero temperatures to free a truck that was stuck on the Norfolk Sounthern train tracks on East Fifth Avenue in Brackenridge on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. The trucker, who was from Texas, did not see the snow-covered tracks while turning from Morgan Street. Train traffic was shut down for 90 minutes.
Eric Felack | Valley News Dispatch - Enveloped in the exhaust of his truck warming up, Tom Curtis cleans the early-morning frost from the windows in zero-degree temperatures on Wood Street in Tarentum on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Eric Felack  |  Valley News Dispatch</em></div>Enveloped in the exhaust of his truck warming up, Tom Curtis cleans the early-morning frost from the windows in zero-degree temperatures on Wood Street in Tarentum on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review - Bill Hodges, 34 of West View and driver for Kendall Towing in West View replaces the battery on a client's car on Broadway in Stowe Township, Tuesday.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Andrew Russell  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Bill Hodges, 34 of West View and driver for Kendall Towing in West View replaces the battery on a client's car on Broadway in Stowe Township, Tuesday.

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By Bobby Kerlik
Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, 10:51 p.m.
 

Joe Zimmer made sure to get in line early on Tuesday to sign up for a bed at Light of Life Rescue Mission on the North Side.

Homeless as of Monday, Zimmer needed a warm place off the streets as temperatures slithered below zero.

“Two times a day the preacher comes. It makes you feel a little bit better,” Zimmer said.

Frigid temperatures Monday night through Tuesday packed homeless shelters around Western Pennsylvania, prompted the city to open warming centers, drained car batteries and slammed AAA with calls.

Zimmer, 61, worked and lived at an apartment building that was sold. He said he lost his apartment on Monday. On Tuesday morning, he went to the library to scan newspapers and Craigslist for maintenance jobs.

“I'm not planning to stay here,” said Zimmer, bundled and wearing a Pirates baseball cap.

Temperatures bottomed at 8 below zero just after 8 a.m. at Pittsburgh International Airport, with a wind chill of minus 20. The high reached 7 degrees just before 4 p.m. Other areas registered colder temperatures, including minus 12 near Plum, said National Weather Service meteorologist Rihaan Gangat.

Temperatures were expected to drop to 6 below zero overnight Tuesday and reach as high as 13 degrees Wednesday, Gangat said.

The cold claimed thousands of car batteries, flooding AAA with 2,800 calls. Bill Hodges, 34, of West View, who works for Kendall Towing, Uptown, spent the day going from car to car, the majority of which had dead batteries.

“I work from 9 a.m. until whenever. Times like this it could be 10 or 11 o'clock at night. It's batteries and tires from people hitting potholes,” Hodges said.

The cold weather did not prevent housebound senior citizens from getting meals delivered, said Marian Matik, administrative officers for the Allegheny County Area Agency on Aging. During cold snaps, she said meal deliveries offer a chance to check on older folks.

“That's a big part of the program — having contact with someone. We will not leave the meal at the door,” Matik said.

Animal control officers John Webrich, 59, and Darryl Dwyer, 45, combed the North Side looking over fences and driving down alleys looking for pets.

“Obviously people are listening, but there are still some out there that leave their dogs out,” Dwyer said.

Bobby Kerlik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7886.

or bkerlik@tribweb.com.

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