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Editorial: This cold has been one tough stretch

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opinion Willmar, 56201

Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

It has been a tough frigid few days across west central Minnesota and the rest of the country since the weekend.

The brutal subzero temperatures and accompanying wind chill slowed things down across Minnesota and paralyzed much of the upper Midwest and disrupted travel all across the U.S. Many air passengers will not leave for their destinations until late this week.

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The freezing sleet Friday followed by ice formed due to subzero temperatures has created dangerously slippery roads, driveways and sidewalks across the region. Highway and city maintenance crews have been fighting this losing battle for several days.

Minnesota Gov. Dayton closed all schools in the state Monday and most remained closed Tuesday due to the severe cold temperatures.

The Arctic polar vortex that swept out of Canada driving record low temperatures from Minnesota and North Dakota south into Texas and Louisiana is retreating. Accuweather says that over the central U.S. temperatures will hold or rise today.

It has been a while since our region experienced such a cold plunge. The last far-reaching, bitterly cold blasts in the U.S. occurred in the mid-1990s, during January of 1994 and February of 1996, according to Accuweather.

West central Minnesota has survived this cold stretch without any major problems. The good news is that temperatures are expected to reach into the 30s by the weekend.

The best news is that the spring countdown clock is ticking at t-minus 70 days and counting today. Granted, the green grass may not arrive until later in April, but spring is near.

We just need to keep telling ourselves that.

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