Cold causes water line break

OAK PARK HEIGHTS — Bitter cold overnight temperatures are believed to have caused a broken water line early today in the area of Panama and 63rd streets, according to city officials.

City Administrator Eric Johnson said a Public Works Department crew located the break in the 15000 block of 63rd Street and were working this morning to repair the line.

“It was shut off about 7 a.m.,” Johnson said. “Hopefully, we’ll get it fixed by noon today.”

Johnson estimates that about 10 to 20 homes in the area of the break had their water service shut off while crews repair the line.

The water line break occurred on one of the coldest mornings of the winter with area temperatures around 13 below at 10 a.m., according to the National Weather Service office in Chanhassen.

Much of eastern and southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin were under an NWS wind chill advisory until noon today. NWS weather forecasters said the combination of cold and wind produced wind chill readings of 25 below and lower.

“Dangerously cold wind chills of minus 25 to minus 35 degrees will continue this morning across the region,” said an NWS statement. “Frost bite and hypothermia are possible if precautions are not taken.”

The statement added that anyone going outside today should wear a hat and gloves to protect against the cold.

NWS forecasters said cold air would remain over the St. Croix Valley today with a high struggling into the low single digits above zero. They added that diminishing winds will ease the dangerously cold wind chills.

“Slightly warmer temperatures and lighter winds will return this afternoon and allow wind chill values to increase to the single digits to teens below zero,” forecasters said.

Clouds are also expected to increase this afternoon with snow developing this evening, forecasters said. Lows are expected to fall to near 0 with light wind. About one inch of snow is possible, forecasters added.

More light snow is forecast Saturday afternoon and evening, forecasters said. The high Saturday is expected in the middle teens, with a low near 5 Saturday and northwest winds 10 to 15 mph producing wind chills near 12 below.

But the best chance of accumulation snow comes Sunday night with 2 to 4 inches possible, according to forecasters. It will remain cold with a high in the middle teens and low near 10.

Monday will see cloudy skies and a high near 21 with light winds, forecasters said.

Contact Erik Sacold thermometerndin at [email protected]