ELY, Minn. - In the coldest of Minnesota's cold communities, life went on as normal Monday – almost.
Residents of Ely woke up to a temperature of 33 degrees below zero. By mid-morning the wind-chill was 51 below.
That was cold enough to freeze solid the lock on the front door of the electronics business where Jake McCulskey works.
"A little moisture gets in that lock and it's solid," he said as he wiggled the key.
Half-a-block away drivers of diesel pick-ups pulled into one of the few stations that could still pump the fuel. Other stations bagged their nozzles, but John Byerly was still able coax a small stream out of the pumps at Tony's Service, where he works.
"It's a lot thicker, so it's running like molasses," he said. "It's hard just to get it up out of the ground."
Still, most Ely businesses opened as normal, even as schools closed for the day.
Mike Reed was up before dawn, blowing snow for 30 homes and businesses he serves.
Reed, a Louisiana native, came to Ely on vacation in 1988 and never left.
"Louisiana, I wouldn't even go out if it was 32, but here it is 30 something below and I'm out," he paused and smiled, "having fun."