By Adam Duxter

Originally published Jan. 2, 2022

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — More than a dozen people in the Twin Cities were hospitalized with frostbite injuries as the bitter weather settled in over the weekend.

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Hennepin County Medical Center says the intake was spread over the course of Friday and Saturday, with a half dozen frostbite patients each day.

As wind chill temperatures dipped into the negative 20s Sunday morning, some were still determined to get outside.

“I think look around. I love the solitude,” said Chris Higgins, who took his dog to Lake of the Isles dog park. “There are very few people outside and I’m enjoying nature just as much as I would on another day. I love being outside. This is part of it.”

Other dog owners at the park say while the temperatures certainly are frigid, a combination of warm clothes and minimal time outside allowed them to be bearable.

“Definitely got to go multiple layers here,” said Justin Rose, who took his dog Rosa to the park. “I think I got probably like three shirts on, plus a jacket or so. And then [my dog] also needs her jacket.”

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(credit: CBS)

While the few willing to risk the cold enjoyed time outside Sunday, for others, battling the temperatures isn’t a walk in the park. Late Saturday night, crews with Burnsville fire had to call in Metro Transit buses in order to keep warm while fighting a fire.

“It just adds another dynamic into what we have to think about when we’re there,” said Cpt. Chris Walker. “Usually, the first, you know, 15 to 30 minutes you’re fine, it doesn’t really bother you. You’ve got some adrenaline going, you’re making decisions, you’ve got a larger problem at hand, so you don’t tend to really think about it. It’s once you stop that you really get cold.”

Medical professionals recommend anyone who has lost feeling in their toes or fingers due to the cold to get to a warm area immediately. When there, they advise to soak the area in warm water — not hot — to avoid burns.

While for many, Sunday became a day to enjoy the indoors instead of the outdoors, others say the cold is part of the true experience of living in Minnesota.

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“It’s just like the texture of life,” said Michael Burgdorf. “We get to experience life like minus whatever today it is, 20 something, 30 something, and we get to experience life above 100 degrees. And that’s something pretty cool that, you know, not a whole lot of people around the world can say.”

Adam Duxter