Warnings from emergency responders as Duluth expects one of its - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Warnings from emergency responders as Duluth expects one of its coldest New Years on record

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DULUTH, MN -

In Duluth, it takes more than a cold snap to shut people in on a holiday weekend.

That counts double for those like Hannah Shanafelt who chose to come back to her hometown this winter after moving to the southeast.

"The cold doesn't get me all that upset by any means we just enjoy being up," she said.

In fact, she said her and her husband are headed for colder.

"We're gonna be going up north to the Iron Range, where we're from," Shanafelt said.

But staying safe takes more than Northland blood, with air temperatures expected in the double digits below zero. 

According to Duluth firefighter Dan Smith, with temperatures as low as we're expecting, the dangers can come on fast.

"Frostbite--it's minutes especially with the windchill being as cold as it's been and hypothermia does not take long either."

That's why, along with their annual warnings about drinking and driving, emergency responders, like Lt. Mike Ceynowa of the Duluth police, are including this advice for anyone heading out to the bars this weekend.

"I know it's not cool to have on your heavy jacket and your boots and your gloves and your hat when you're all dressed up but this is important gear to have with you," Ceynowa said.

The dangers only mount when the cold temps meet alcohol, so on top of calls to bundle up,  Lt. Ceynowa said, this weekend, police will have increased DWI patrol, watching drivers on our slushy, slippery snowy streets.

"It could mean jail time, loss of license, increased insurance cost and worst case scenario tragically you can either kill someone or yourself or your friends," he said.

As the holiday season comes to a close, it's familiar advice to avoid any consequences of this year's extra dangers.

"It would be a horrid horrible way to start your new year," he said.

First responders also remind anyone going out this weekend to do so in groups and to make sure if you're dropping anyone off to make sure they can and do get inside safely before leaving.

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