By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Many activities and services have come to a halt during Minnesota’s polar vortex.

Wednesday is day three of school closures for most students in Minnesota, but it’s too cold to have a snow day outside.

“Very cold. They want to build a snow man, not this snow day, honey, not this time!” said a mom we spoke to at Mall of America.

If you have to get out of the house, you better make sure your car can get you there

“Tried to move my car to the other side of the street for the plows and wouldn’t start,” said Minneapolis resident Eric Sorum.

Bobby and Steve’s Auto World in Minneapolis was busy with customers dealing with issues from the cold.

“Last night was mostly tires, today it’s all about batteries and flat tires,” said a Bobby and Steve’s employee.

It’s so cold that the Metro Transit light rail had brief delays Wednesday morning after a crack formed in the Blue Line. MnDOT lows were having mechanical issues in southeastern Minnesota, so they had to pulled off the roads overnight. Even travel by air was impacted. MSP Airport announced they were experiencing equipment issues due to the extreme cold, resulting in flight delays.

Mail delivery has been suspended across parts of five Midwest states. And some St. Paul residents are having a garbage pickup delay. Even beer is isn’t being delivered as usual because it’s freezing.

“They’re not running regular routes. The few that are running routes are doing very short runs in heated trucks, and it’s very unusual to say the least,” said Mike Madigan, president of the Minnesota Beer Wholesalers Association.

While the cold causes a lot of things to go wrong, Minnesotans luckily have ways to escape it. So if your kids can’t play outside or you have no running water, or if you can’t get your steps in, head to your favorite mall. When you factor in the wind chill, there was about a 100-degree difference between being outside and being inside Mall of America.

Another thing not working in this cold: Furnaces. We’ve checked with several repair companies who tell us they are swamped with calls, and most people are having to wait a day or two for help.

Also, more than 100,000 gallons of water spilled out the water tower in White Bear Township when its plumbing froze. It made an icy mess on roads around the area, but did not affect service for residents.

Kate Raddatz

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