Funnies Extra!

It's official; winter has arrived!

12/25/08 (Thu)

It’s official; winter has arrived!

By CHERYL ODDEN

Do you know what happened earlier this week?

Sunday, Dec. 21 marked the winter solstice – the official beginning of the winter season. Judging by the weather, most North Dakotans might say winter began several weeks ago.

Not only has the area been subjected to weeks of sub-zero temperatures, the winds have been persistent. The combination has had a bone-chilling effect. At times the "wind-chill" effect made outdoor temperatures feel as cold as –40 degrees.

Over the past two weekends, winter storms and extreme cold forced several events to be cancelled or postponed.

The severe weather has also impacted businesses that provide cold-weather services. According to Paul Schlichting, manager of Garrison’s Farmers Union Oil, "It’s been crazy!" He said the co-op’s service crew has been busy installing new batteries and block heaters and that the company’s wrecker has been kept busy as well. Schlichting noted that customers were purchasing diesel fuel additives, "by the case."

The cold weather has also made a noticeable dent in cold-weather merchandise at Garrison’s S&J Hardware. Employees, said the store has been having trouble getting snowblowers. Even though snowblowers aren’t readily available, the business has been selling plenty of snow shovels, space heaters and cold weather clothing such as hats, gloves, boots and facemasks.