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Deep freeze causes reports of frozen pipes, dead batteries

The bitter cold this past week set some records across the state.

Days of subzero, record-setting temperatures are taking a toll on cars, pipes, windows and Minnesotans. 

People took to social media over the past week to show how cold it is in Minnesota, from posting videos of throwing boiling water into the air and freezing bubbles to sharing the troubles they're having, like frozen eyelashes, broken pipes, frozen windows and dead car batteries. 

Car trouble

Vehicles parked outside for too long risked trouble starting, dead batteries and flat tires (and then frozen air pump hoses giving people no way to fill up their flat tires).

AAA said every year they see an uptick in battery-related calls when the weather turns cold. Interstate Batteries notes even good, fully charged batteries won't feel 100% when the temperatures drop, and if your car battery is only half charged, it will freeze solid at 10 below zero.

And this bout of bitterly cold weather has kept mechanics busy. According to WCCO, Bobby and Steve's Auto World in downtown Minneapolis received dozens of calls from people who couldn't get their cars started.

To help keep your battery running, AAA says people should start and drive their vehicle for at least 10 minutes each day, even if they don't plan to go anywhere. Actually driving your car is what really helps recharge the battery.

“Car batteries on their last legs get zapped by the temperatures, leaving motorists unable to start their vehicle. While some of these calls come from motorists trying to leave the comfort of their home, others call stranded at a store or on the side of the road," AAA spokesperson Meredith Mitts said in a statement.

AAA says you shouldn't turn on the car and go immediately, you need to give the engine time to warm up before you hit the gas to allow the oil to work through the motor. The agency also reminds people to have at least a half tank of gas at all times and to check all fluid levels and tire pressure before they hit the road. 

Frozen windows, walls

Some posted pictures of the cold causing their sliding doors to freeze closed.

Others shared photos of frost on the inside of their windows and of their windows apparently cracking from the cold. 

And some saw their walls even freeze on the inside. 

Frozen pipes

Temperatures this cold can cause water lines to freeze, as the City of Golden Valley warned, sharing tips to prevent this from happening, such as keeping water running and making sure there is airflow and heat circulating through your home.

Here's video from an apparent water line break in Golden Valley Sunday morning that flooded the street. 

Bring Me The News has reached out to the City of Golden Valley for more information.

Records broken

This recent cold snap broke records across the state, with preliminary reports showing Minnesota may have set a new daily state record low for Feb. 13 with Ely hitting 50 below (the previous record for Feb. 13 was 42 below), but fell short of the all-time low temperature on record. 

Cities in the Northland broke records on Feb. 13 too.

On Sunday, Feb. 14, the National Weather Service in Duluth reported the low was 26 below zero, breaking the previous record for that date of 24 below, which was reached in 1875, 1879, 1949 and 1970.

Other records could have been broken as well, but we'll know more when the cold snap ends this week. 

Temperatures are expected to slowly climb above zero by Tuesday and above-freezing highs are in the forecast for the weekend.  

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