By Ellen Thompson/Havre Daily Newsfirstname.lastname@example.org
Havre missed the dubious honor of having the lowest temperature in the country on Monday, but it was a close race.
Havre hit 27 below zero, while Plentywood recorded 29 below zero.
Matt Jackson of the National Weather Service in Great Falls said the cold trend began Thursday with a "big area of cold high pressure that pushed in here from northern Canada."
Several hours after the low point Monday, a three-person Havre public works crew began repairing a broken water line on Second Street West, public works director Dave Peterson said.
The Hi-Line Motel was without water from Sunday afternoon until Monday morning, hotel employee Jeanice Downhour said. "We just had to lock down. We couldn't let anyone into a hotel without water."
Downhour said the weekend customers had checked out before the break occurred.
Havre Mayor Bob Rice went out for a while to watch the crew's progress. He later heard it took eight hours to make the repair.
"It was cold," Rice said. "I was in a suit. I didn't think I was really dressed for it."
The men were working on a platform of ice from the pipe's break the previous day. They dug to the broken pipe with a backhoe and then added a rubber sleeve to make the repair, Rice said.
Today the Public Works Department investigated a water line break on Fifth Avenue, acting crew foreman Matt Bozega said. It was not a city pipe, and the problem was referred to the owner, he said.
The cold snap enabled fishermen to get out on the ice on lakes in Beaver Creek Park and Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation, said Kirk Perszyk, a technician for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks in Havre.
Living at Beaver Creek Park, park superintendent Chad Edgar heats his home with a wood stove. He said it's worked out well, though he does have to get up in the night to feed it or it gets "pretty cold."
Havre can look forward to slight warming Wednesday and Thursday, and then cooling again over the weekend, Jackson said.
The National Weather Service predicts a high of 2 below zero today, and a low tonight of 14 below zero.
On Wednesday, Havre can expect a high of 11 degrees and a low of 0. Thursday, the forcast is a high of 25 and a low of 4 degrees.