Skip to main content

Reporter's eye freezes shut while working outside during blizzard

The wind chill was a brutal -50F when he was outside reporting on the storm.

It's wise to stay inside when the weather forecast says "the dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes."

That's the forecast in eastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota, where a wind chill warning is in effect until noon Thursday, in addition to a blizzard warning that was set to expire at 4 p.m. Wednesday. 

That extreme cold and wind was the work environment Wednesday for Kenneth Chase, a reporter for WDAY News in Grand Forks. The result? His eye froze shut. 

"I was outside for 15 minutes trying to take video of I-29. I thought I felt my eye freezing shut. But dismissed it as me being dramatic. I got in the car and found this," wrote Chase about the photo of his icy eye. "Stay out of the cold if you can." 

According to Chase, the National Weather Service said the air temperature was -18F when he took the photo around 11 a.m., but winds were sustained at 37 mph and gusting to 46 mph, creating a wind chill of -53F. 

Chase was born and raised in Hawaii and has been working for WDAY News the past four years. This, however, is the first time he's had an eye freeze shut. 

"Fun stuff!" Chase joked. 

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING WEATHER newsletters

The dangerous winter weather is no laughing matter, however, as whiteout conditions and plummeting temperatures have created nearly impossible travel conditions in the eastern Dakotas and western Minnesota, where blizzard and wind-chill warnings are also in place. 

The harsh "feels like" temps are expected to remain -30F to -50F in these areas until conditions warm into the teens, possibly even 20 degrees above zero, on Friday. 

The National Weather Service warns: "Travel should be restricted to emergencies only. If you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you. If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle."

Next Up

ambulance

Body found in burned out car near Bird Island identified as local farmer

The deceased is a 59-year-old man from rural Bird Island.

Screen Shot 2022-12-06 at 2.47.44 PM

Minneapolis' Khâluna named in Eater's 2022 'Best New Restaurants'

The restaurant, opened in 2021, is known for its Laotian cuisine.

ambulance, crash

3 pedestrians struck by drivers Monday in Minnesota; 2 dead

The victims involved a 39-year-old man and two 74-year-old men.

snow, plow

Shifting storm tracks: Significant storms Friday, next week?

Sven Sundgaard has the details on an interesting forecast.

Life Link

Worker suffers serious injury in rooftop fall in rural Minnesota

The man only fell a few feet, but suffered a serious leg injury.

Walz, Flanagan

Minnesota reports massive projected budget surplus of $17.6 billion

The huge surplus comes as the DFL prepares to assume a trifecta of the Legislature and the Governor's House.

tap-gf9a40b157_1280

Boil water advisory issued for part of Minneapolis after water main break

The main break caused significant flooding in an area of North Minneapolis Monday evening.

PicketSignsNurseStrike

Deals struck between nursing union and hospitals, potentially averting strike

A strike was scheduled to start on Dec. 11 if a deal was not reached.

Minnesota Solar Installation - All Energy Solar

Make the Most of your Solar Panels with Energy Storage

Solar energy is great during the day, but what happens when the sun goes down?

Related

blizzard

Parts of MN in blizzard warning, winter storm watch Wednesday

It's going to be difficult to travel in the western half of Minnesota on Wednesday.

Screen Shot 2019-12-29 at 9.16.17 AM

Freeways shut down as North Dakota gets slammed by blizzard

Parts of northwest Minnesota are also under the gun Sunday.

Screen Shot 2020-02-12 at 7.24.02 AM

Dangerous winter weather as Arctic front arrives in MN

Nasty winter weather will impact the entire state.

Screen Shot 2020-12-23 at 2.09.36 PM

All of Twin Cities metro area added to blizzard warning

Extreme blowing snow will lead to impossible travel conditions.

snow

Grand Forks meteorologist: 'Highest snowfall forecast of my 30 year career'

Some ridiculous snowfall totals could occur in eastern North Dakota.

List of bitter-cold wind chills in Minnesota Thursday morning

It's going to feel extremely cold until temps start to moderate on Friday.

Ep5BOmzVEAIyvDV

Warnings expand: Heavy snow, blizzard conditions to hammer MN

The storm is ramping up and ready to plow through Minnesota and Wisconsin.