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By Holly Wagner, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — The coldest temperatures of the season delayed the start of school for many students and caused even the hardiest Minnesotans to think twice about staying outdoors for any length of time.

The National Weather Service issued an “extreme cold warning” for northern Minnesota through midmorning Friday.

Temperatures, even without the wind chill factor, dropped to below zero double digits. International Falls in Koochiching County and Babbitt in St. Louis County had readings of 46 below.

A wind chill advisory was in effect for much of the rest of the state. Minneapolis Public Schools advised parents that keeping their children at home Friday would count as an excused absence.

In Anoka, officials said they only had a handful of students stay home. At Marcy Open School in Minneapolis, the principal said only 10 families called in out of their 600-plus students.

Greg Palmer said he thought about keeping his 5-year-old daughter Emma home but instead decided to drive her to school.

“Didn’t want her to be outside in the elements waiting for the bus,” he said. “We’re going to pick her up too so she’s out of the cold as much as possible.”

The temperature overnight reached 16 below in the Twin Cities. People without a place to go packed into the warming center at the Salvation Army Harbor Lights shelter.

“We’re just trying to keep everybody out of the cold,” said manager Jade Lichtsinn.

The shelter was at capacity with more than 450 people. They had to send people to their overflow shelter. Some needed medical treatment.

“Our special needs beds have grown with frostbite wounds, so we have a lot of people with,” said Lichtsinn. “Feet is a big thing, a lot of frostbite on the feet and fingers. That’s been our primary concern.”

The emergency room doctors at Health East Systems said they haven’t seen any cases of frostbite so far on Friday, but they have seen people come in after getting in car accidents caused by black ice.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (29)
  1. Sarahh says:

    Which schools will start late, I need to know when to take my kids to school for the south Washington county district.

  2. LoneRanger walks to school says:

    Oh my fellow Minnesota dwellers ….. just how soft and lazy and silly things have become. We are creating the newest group. Not Gen X or Gen Y’ers. They will now be referred to as the Gen Softs
    It cold – it is winter after all. The luxuries of these heated buses, high tech cars, super warm coats and boots. My gads – even if one needs to walk 6-8 blocks so what?!!
    Gen Softs.
    And we actually wonder why China and others are leaving us in their dust. 😉

    1. David R... says:

      You are so right…I do not recall a single time when school was closed for me due to the cold….as long as the cars and busses start, there should be no reason that school needs to be cancelled.

      1. gophuckyourselfbucky says:

        Arnie carlson called all minnesota schools off one yrar because of the cold. But yes, I agree, we’re soft.

  3. PS says:

    ha ha, I call them Generation on Demand. I want, so I demand and my parents buy it. Generation on Demand now have their parents buying (4th, 5th, and 6th) graders cell phones, so silly. I guess if your TV’s and Video Games can not do the job of babysitting your kids, surely texting on a cell phone will put them into a nice zone.

  4. Warm clothing is all says:

    Hate winter with a passion but MN has always been cold. We deal with it – simple as that.
    The media and the newest generation of pampered folks, the Gen Softs as you say, indeed need to get a grip on life and toughen up. A coat, hat, boots and gloves is all it takes to walk miles and miles. Windy – turn your back to it. You’ll be fine.
    I blame the over-hyped media coverage, the latest generation of parents who just are pampered even as adults, the kids who then take it to another level because of Momma and Daddy. We are overweight, we are afraid to walk, afraid to exercise or maybe just to lazy, we lament anything that is not easy. Pretty sorry state America is in …. MN’ers, maybe we can at least tougher up like yesterday years generation. Or at least try to huh

    1. Jon says:

      Why in the hell are all of you going on and on about how we’ve gone soft, are pampered, wusses, etc.

      Fact of matter, it’s cold. No one in their right mind wants to go out in this stuff and if it really was a -45 windchill, there is no way I’m going to send my kid out in this weather much less my 80 year old mother. Love Minnesota and all, but this doesn’t mean I gotta “beef” up and conquer winter. All of you step off the high horse and stop thinking you are the heartiest people in the world. Not everyone can deal with such cold on a regular basis. No matter how much you layer up at this point, you are still going to be freezing.

      1. Lora says:

        I agree with Jon too. This weather is not just uncomfortable, it’s potentially dangerous. Someone froze to death last night walking to a homeless shelter. Was this woman just “too soft”? My son’s school was not delayed, but I didn’t let him go out to the bus stop until he really needed to because I was worried about the cold plus I made sure he had on two sweatshirts plus all of his winter clothes. No matter how tough you are, you can die in this weather if put in the wrong conditions.

      2. young at heart and disliking getting old says:

        No one digs it but my god man – it’s not a big freeeekin deal either. It’s winter – BFD.
        Go out and get some fresh air and cease the crying. Leave that to the 1 year olds please.
        Worked outside from 5am to noon. Then home to change and eat. Off to watch some hockey. Outside of course. 😉
        Seriously people – this is no big deal, not something to shut down a thing about or stay indoors from.
        Dangerous ?? -well so is heat in the summer. Or water. Or fire. Or sometimes marriage.
        Bundle up and head out – crying won’t do you any good inside.

  5. M. from E says:

    I agree with jon…except the part about loving Minnesota!!

  6. special one says:

    i suppose all you guys that say this is Minnesota & parents spoil their kids. I have to tell you I spoil my kids & yes they have the high tech phones, & all the news systems & games they have it all. But I still have to tell you even I know how to dress my kids and myself, but it’s freaken cold out side. I have lived her all my life but that does not mean that I have to like the dam cold. Just walking about 10 feet, my toes were frozen and my lips were freezing so no matter how you think spoiled kids are this & that dam it. Its – 21 out and that is not including the w/s it does not get that COLD her every year or every day so if we want to complain & you don;’t like it then don’t read it!

  7. ps says:

    Special one,
    I understand your point…… your children are spoiled, they can not dress themselves, and it is too cold outside. Yep, that is a Generation on Demand mom!

  8. Minnesota Tough says:

    We live in the country and have horses…we have to go out in every kind of weather to care for them – just as livestock owners and farmers have done forever. We bundle-up and can spend long amounts of time outside no matter what the temp. Would we prefer warmer weather? You bet! But we live in Minnesota so we deal with it. What a bunch of whining babies there are in the world today!! You are so right when you deemed them Generation Soft!!

    1. Paul says:

      Yep, I’m soft. I’m not going to let my kids stand at the bus stop when the temperature is -30 as it was in Big Lake this morning. It might make me soft in your eyes (as if I care), but it also makes me a good parent.

  9. Suzette says:

    The better part of these closings are for outlying areas where there are few trees, buildings, etc to block the winds. The dangers are higher in these areas. However, this is MINNESOTA in January. IT IS BITTERLY COLD for a week every year like this. Then we will have a few more days in February and then comes spring. BUNDLE UP THOSE CHILDREN. Forget the fashion; put on the long johns, the sweatsuits, two pair of sock, and darned good outerwear includin mittens and scarves. Do not send them to the bus early. Or if you have the option, warm up your car and drive them to school. If you do not agree with this scenerio, vote for year long schools so that they can go in the summer when it is warmer.

  10. Erin Mason Johnson says:

    I agree; people are soft. However; the biggest problem with this cold is starting the buses! It’s so cold the fuel can gel. That’s why the late start-give the schools time to start the buses! That being said; I would feel bad for the kid in the country (where I live) who’s mom puts him on the bus, locks up and leaves for work, and then the bus comes 20 minutes late because it’s not moving because of the cold. Because a lot of dumb parents do that type of stuff.

  11. Albert says:

    People sue at the drop of a hat now. Any kid gets frostbite wearing fashionable (ie stupid) clothing to the bus stop – BAM – lawsuit.

    I used to stand at the end of a 1/4 mile long dirt driveway on a dirt road in full exposure to the wind, then get to help push the bus when it couldn’t get up the icy hill next to my driveway.

    Ah, memories . . .

  12. Michelle says:

    LOL@Albert-awwww sounds like a great childhood!! Well my take on this I am soon to be 40 and I rememeber winters like this ONLY when I was a kid! And we went to school, WALKED even, the buses didn’t run like they do now and my mama would even send me to the little store in 50 below!!! In this generations defense, they aren’t used to this, we haven’t had snow like this in forever and then to add in the sub zero weather, we didn’t see much of either the last few years so these kids jus plain old not schooled in a REAL MN winter lol

  13. Michele says:

    To everyone under the age of 45…what a bunch of winers!!!!! Your 80 year old mom/grandma/grandpa grew up with no modern heat, they woke up with frost on their blankets and they walked to school and started the wood stove for other’s who had yet to arrive and guess what…They are alive and well and live to tell you winers how good you have it now, so quit your xitching about how cold it is and how you wouldn’t send your kids out in it!

  14. tj says:

    Yep, it’s cold…I remember when I died working on a flighline in the Air Force when I was in Alaska…. Oh… Yea nevermind… I DIDN’T DIE…I DRESSED WARM! technology for keeping warm now is better than it was 20 years ago. My boys will be shoveling the driveway tonight and they will come in after, have some hot chocolate, and warm up… I am suspecting that I will have the same number of children by tomorrow.

  15. albert says:

    I visited a laboratory in Maryland that had radiative heaters on poles mounted outside the guard shacks to use to keep them from suffering in the cold.

    It was 50 degrees out.

    It’s all relative.

  16. Jacob says:

    I love reading all of these comments from folks who are criticizing the younger generation – or as Michelle put it, “everyone under the age of 45” – as “whiners,” “soft,” etc. I am sure that the people who lived in cold areas before your generation would say the same things about you. Sounds pretty hypocritical to me.

    1. albert says:

      Not hypocritical, just getting old.

  17. tj says:

    guess I wouldn’t classify the younger people as whiners… but, from the standpoint of a father of two boys: I know what kids “want” to do.. and it usually doesn’t involve discomfort of any kind. When I was a kid, we made wood, we played in the snow, we ice fished and played regardless of temperature. When I drive past the skating rinks in my neighborhood, their empty. The schools were at 65 in the winter and 90 in the summer… these days, that would be unacceptable. Maybe not whiners… but maybe not as tolerant to hard work, uncomfortable situations, or doing a thankless job.

    1. albert says:

      Depends on parental insistence, I would expect, to some extent. My girls are hard as nails. Physically, not emotionally.

  18. Fellow Minne's says:

    -39 officially here in the Falls I heard. My thermometer froze at -40. Actually both did. Wind chills better than -60. Now it’s hot at -11.
    I went fishing. Hauled some wood. Got gas and groceries.
    My kids are playing hockey right now – outdoors as it was meant to be played of course. Imagine they will have cold feet tonight as skates are not warm.
    My wife is out with the dog – I can see her from the window. She’s bundled up as she should be.
    We chuckle when we listen to news from the TC’s talking about the bitter cold and all things that get closed down….. what? why?
    To most of us outstate you do things real different down there. Even worse when a snowfall hits you. lol
    You bring us chuckles and smiles for sure. It’s just fine outdoors – don’t be afraid of Mother now

  19. M says:


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