Deep freeze causes reports of frozen pipes, dead batteries

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

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.  

Next Up

Ambulance hospital emergency

Teen worker dies after being shocked at Vikings apartment site

Aaron Welle, 18, of Holdingford, died from his injuries.

teacher, coronavirus, covid-19, school, classroom

90% of MN schools now offer in-person learning, 55% of teachers vaccinated

Gov. Tim Walz had set March 8 as the date for when schools would be expected to offer in-person learning.

Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 8.12.13 AM

Catholic school employee allegedly had 'inappropriate physical contact' with student

The employee is currently on leave pending an MPD investigation.

covid-19, vaccine

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can be together indoors without masks

The CDC on Monday released new guidance for fully vaccinated people.

covid saliva test

MDH to open new COVID testing site in Carver Co. amid B117 variant outbreak

It comes amid an outbreak among younger people in the southwest metro county.

radio station, microphone

KFAN's Paul Allen recounts 'harrowing' fatigue from COVID-19

Paul Allen said he experienced extreme fatigue after testing positive.

Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 9.41.43 AM

Derailed train in Plymouth was carrying molten sulfur

No unusual air quality readings have been reported in the area.

Judge Peter Cahill - March 8

Chauvin trial: Jury pool sent home as court awaits appeals court guidance

Judge Cahill rejected the prosecution's motion to delay the start of jury selection, but it was delayed Monday anyway.

chauvin courtroom

Everything you need to know as Derek Chauvin's trial is set to begin

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday, but could be delayed.

jack riebel

Restaurant community rallies around famed Twin Cities chef battling cancer

Jack Riebel, chef and owner of The Lexington, is starting a new aggressive treatment — his fourth in a year — in hopes of beating cancer.


lake superior ice duluth jan 31 2021

Good news: Deep freeze adds to Lake Superior's ice coverage

The lake was experiencing historically low ice coverage earlier this winter, but that all changed with the recent cold snap.

Deep freeze hits Minnesota but won't stay long

Much of Minnesota is under an Extreme Cold Warning and is dealing with wind chill readings as cold as 40 below. But the pain is likely to be short-lived, with forecasters expecting warmer-than-average temperatures again by this weekend.

Minnesotans react as state enters a deep freeze

Temperatures have plunged, and will stay that way for some time.