According to the National Weather Service office in Grand Forks, N.D., the low temperatures over the weekend ranged from 35 below to 38 below and the high ranged from eight degrees below to 10 below. On Monday, Feb. 15, Park Rapids reached zero degrees for the first time since Feb. 5.
The wind chill warning issued during the weekend expired Monday at noon. A wind chill advisory was then issued by the National Weather Service from 6 p.m. Monday until noon on Wednesday.
The cold has led to many calls for jump starts for vehicles as well as for thawing out frozen water and septic system lines.
The cold also caused some disruptions with electrical services. The Itasca Mantrap Electric Cooperative had six outages over the weekend of Feb. 12 through Feb. 14, with approximately 33 members out of power over the duration of the weekend, according to marketing and member services manager Nikki Torkelson.
The outages ranged from one hour up to approximately three-and-a-half hours in duration. The outages were located by Lake Belle Taine in Nevis, Shell Lake in Osage and the north side of Potato Lake in Park Rapids.
“As expected, usage has been definitely high during this weather,” she said. “There were a few overloaded transformers due to high usage but our crews were able to fix those. They take proper precautions when working in weather like this. They are equipped with cold weather outfits so they can work in temperatures like this. They typically wear long johns and a thicker jean. They also wear bibs and a heavier coat and a face mask. They have to wear heavy duty insulated gloves also. They have coverings under their hard hat to predict their ears.”
One of the weekend calls involved fixing an underground fault. “Those can take a little longer to locate,” she said. “Some of them with outages did have a generator. We didn’t have any long-term outages in this cold, thankfully.”