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Dangerously low temps close tubing hill on New Year's Day

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. --- Severe wind chill shut down tube hills at St. Patrick’s County Park, according to park officials.

The decision to close the inner-tubing hills was made around 7 a.m. on Monday.  Jamie Hartzke, with the county park, said the team was monitoring the National Weather Service’s weather prediction of wind chill factor 15 degrees below zero.

“We waited as long as possible,” said Hartzke. “We knew a lot of families were looking for things to do.”

She said it came down to what was right for the general public and the St. Patrick County Park staff.

“Not only do you get the wind of just the weather,” Hartzke said. “But you also get the additional wind of going down the hill.”

She added that on top of the cold temperature, the wind chill factor makes it dangerously cold. And for the staff that supervises the hill for hours, Hartzke said it’s too long for them to be in those weather conditions.

While the tubing hill is closed, she said the cross country skiing and hiking trails are still open. Both of these options are safer for families, because Hartzke said the trees shield the wind from them.

“Not all families come out prepared for all that stuff,” she said.

She added that it’s important for visitors to cover their hands, head, and feet when going out in this kind of weather.

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