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A winter storm for the record book

Minnesotans tend to be rather blasé about winter storms in other parts of the country. We are used to dealing with snow, ice and cold and figure people in the South, for instance, where an inch of snow can absolutely paralyze a city, are over-reacting.

But the massive winter storm that swept the country this week is something else again. Millions of people are without power. Texas is especially hard hit, where two million homes and businesses are powerless as record cold hammers them.

About 20 people have died as a result of the storms. Three died in a sudden tornado in North Carolina. Others have died in car crashes or from carbon monoxide poisoning as they struggle to keep warm.

Northern and Midwestern states have been hit hard as well. Record low temperatures have been recorded in Minnesota.

All of this is forcing utilities to resort to rolling blackouts to keep their systems from being overwhelmed.

New Ulm Public Utilities is warning its customers that the price of natural gas has jumped, due to the increased demand across the country, just as our demand for more heat is jumping. It is encouraging people to conserve wherever possible, to conserve energy and cut back on natural gas usage.

Minnesotans know that severe winter weather is serious, and we encourage people to stay home, stay warm and take care of yourself.

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