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Photo gallery: Bitter cold bites western Wisconsin

UW-River Falls students Bethany Lovejoy and Addison Wolman battled minus-25 temperatures on their walk to work at the University Center on campus. Mike Longaecker / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 11
Main Street was no place for pausing on Wednesday, Jan. 30, where a pedestrian who identified herself as Yuang kept a brisk pace amid minus-25 temperatures. Mike Longaecker / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 11
River Falls resident Ben Bennett had the day off Wednesday, Jan. 30. His employer, the U.S. Postal Service, halted operations amid dangerously cold windchills that settled over the Twin Cities and western Wisconsin. Still, Bennett couldn't help but show his frosty visage from the previous day while carrying mail. Mike Longaecker / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 11
A mallard surfaces Wednesday, Jan. 30, on the Kinnickinnic River, where steam rose against the minus-25 air temperature that settled over the area. Mike Longaecker / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 11
UW-River Falls student Nicole Dittbrenner walks across campus Wednesday, Jan. 30, while battling subzero temperatures. She said a stubborn vehicle kept her from returning home to help at her family's farm in Cumberland, where she said all the animals were moved to a barn due to the cold. Mike Longaecker / RiverTown Multimedia5 / 11
UW-River Falls students Ahmed Abdullah and Michael Baker made their way around campus Jan. 30. Cold weather wasn't foreign for Baker, a Red Wing resident, though Abdullah, who hails from Abu Dhabi, had never experienced anything like Wednesday's minus-30 temperatures. Asked what he thought of the experience, Abdullah could only shake his head and reply "Oh my God." Mike Longaecker / RiverTown Multimedia6 / 11
River Falls resident Addison Hanson takes her dog Cedar for a stroll Wednesday, Jan. 30, across the UW-River Falls campus. Cedar, Hanson said, "thrives" in the deep cold that settled over the Upper Midwest Wednesday. Mike Longaecker / RiverTown Multimedia7 / 11
Steam rose from the Kinnickinnic River Wednesday, Jan. 30, at County Road MM in River Falls. Mike Longaecker / RiverTown Multimedia8 / 11
Other reports put the temperature at minus-30 at about 8:30 a.m. Jan. 30, but regardless of the reading, the biting cold was enough to keep Hudson's Second Street devoid of morning foot traffic. Mike Longaecker / RiverTown Multimedia9 / 11
River Falls area resident Cheryl Maplethorpe caught a fox squirrel looking frosty while eating seeds on her deck Wednesday, Jan. 30. When she snapped the image, it was minus-28 degrees outside, minus-47 wind chill. “The fox squirrel, also known as the eastern fox squirrel or Bryant's fox squirrel, is the largest species of tree squirrel native to North America,” said Maplethorpe. Photo courtesy of Cheryl Maplethorpe 10 / 11
Pedestrians were few on Main Street at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, in River Falls. Mike Longaecker / RiverTown Multimedia11 / 11

Residents of the St. Croix River valley woke up to minus-30 temperatures Wednesday, with even harsher windchills.

See the attached photo gallery for images of those who braved the cold.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is a regional/enterprise reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage includes St. Croix County government, higher education and state politics in Wisconsin. 

(651) 301-7867
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