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Minnesota water tower freezes, disrupts services for small town

KENNEDY, Minn.—Residents of Kennedy in Kittson County experienced a brief water outage around midnight Friday due to a freeze-up in their water tower.

Kennedy Mayor Todd Truedson said the town has been able to pull water from the North Kittson Rural Water system to make up for the gap in service from the offline tower. Workers from the rural water system and the city's maintenance crew were inspecting the tower before noon Friday to determine the extent of the freeze.

"I know they've had issues in years past," said Truedson of the tower, "but when it's 25 below, it kind of clipped us here. To be honest, the problem is our city doesn't use enough water."

Overnight temperatures fell to 27 below zero in nearby Hallock, according to the National Weather Service.

Truedson said the tower is equipped with a system to keep water moving, but the low volume being drawn through the pipes contributed to the freeze. Crews were trying to figure out how much ice had actually accumulated in the tower, a determination likely to be made by the end of Friday, to better decide whether the city should bring in a contractor to defrost it or simply wait until the spring thaw. Truedson said the tower is largely empty at the moment.

Kennedy residents would be able to draw from the rural water system through the rest of the winter if the tower is kept offline. Though there might be sporadic outages throughout the day Friday, Truedson said the town water system hasn't experienced any water line breaks or loss of gallons at this time.

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