While high winds and flash freezes closed several of Ottawa’s roadways to vehicle traffic Sunday, the frigid temperatures are wreaking havoc on city sidewalks today.

According to Environment Canada, it feels like – 26 C with the wind chill. Most puddles have turned into patches of ice. People could be seen cautiously tip-toeing their way to the end of their driveways, crossing the street, and rushing to bus stops.

Mechanics say, when it’s this cold, cars have trouble starting and a few extra calls come in for new batteries.

Carly Burk vented frustrations on Twitter by saying “it’s so cold in Ottawa my eyelashes are frozen and so is my scarf, needless to say I’m freezing.”

Residents are reminded to bundle up. Ottawa’s Public Health officials have issued a frostbite advisory.

Frostbite mostly affects areas of poor circulation like ears, nose, toes and fingertips.

The 4 “P”s of frostbite:

  1. Pink – affected areas will be reddish in colour. This is the first sign of frostbite
  2. Pain – affected areas will become painful
  3. Patches – white, waxy feeling patches show up – skin is dying
  4. Pricklies – the areas will then feel numb

Source: City of Ottawa Public Health

Preventing frostbite:

  • Get to a warm area before frostbite sets in. If it's too cold outside, consider staying indoors.
  • Keep extra mittens and gloves in the car, house or school bag.
  • Wear larger sized mittens over your gloves.
  • Wear a scarf to protect the chin, lips and cheeks. They are all extremely susceptible to frostbite.
  • Wear two pairs of socks - wool if possible
  • Keep feet warm and dry
  • Do not drink alcohol. Alcohol narrows blood vessels, which promotes frostbite and then hypothermia

Source: City of Ottawa Public Health

If you suspect frostbite, seek medical attention immediately.