Brrr! Now that’s cold!
Last week’s extremely cold temperatures were called a lot of things, from record breaking to dangerous, from polar vortex to deadly.
Temperatures in the Blue Earth area were at least 24 below zero on Wednesday morning, with a windchill of 48 below.
The cold snap started Tuesday with temperatures below zero, but as the sun set on Wednesday, temperatures rapidly dropped into the teens below, to the twenties below zero.
The temperatures continued to be dangerously below zero on Thursday, but the high temperature was expected to get to zero and continue to increase on Friday. By Saturday and Sunday the temperature was expected to hit 30 to 40 above zero.
Blue Earth Area Schools and others in the area were first designated two hours late last Monday, but then cancelled altogether due to snow that hit the area on Sunday night.
Then on Monday schools around the state were called off for both Tuesday and Wednesday in anticipation of the dangerously low temperatures expected.
On Thursday, with the temperature still around 23 below zero, BEA Schools were first announced as two hours late, then called off entirely, for the fourth day in a row.
High school sports were postponed from the week to later dates. See sports stories inside for an update on the rescheduled dates.
Several meetings in the area were also postponed, including a Winnebago Planning Commission meeting, Blue Earth Area Schools superintendent search meeting, and others.
The U.S. Postal Service also cancelled all mail delivery on Wednesday in a seven state area in the Midwest, including Minnesota.
KEYC-TV reported the temperature in the Fairmont/Blue Earth area on Wednesday morning at 28 below with windchill of 48 below. The coldest temperature in the nation on Wednesday was in Norris Camp, Minnesota, with an actual temperature of 48 below and windchill of 65 below.
The cold temperatures were due to a polar vortex that came south out of the North Pole and swept across Minnesota and Wisconsin and continued east over the Great Lakes region. Record lows were recorded as far south as Atlanta, Georgia.
One death in Minnesota was blamed on the cold, while 12 fatalities were reported across the Midwest.
Power was off for a while in the rural area around Faribault County, as well as in the city of Wells. Crews from BENCO and Wells Utilities worked to restore electricity to consumers as quickly as they could with the dangerous temperatures.