5 deaths in area due to cold
The Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office is investigating five deaths that may be attributed to the recent cold weather.
One death has been confirmed related to cold weather by the office. The other four deaths, including that of of Ali Gombo, 22, who was found outside his home Jan. 27, are still under investigation, health officials said.
The Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office serves Dodge, Fillmore, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Winona and Wabasha counties.
From Jan. 29 through Jan. 31, Olmsted Medical Center and Mayo Clinic saw more than 20 emergency room visits combined related to the cold weather.
The Salvation Army warming center housed an average of 28 people per night during the same span. The center housed a record 38 people the night of Jan. 30. The center’s capacity is 45 people.
“Minnesotans are used to cold winters, but last week was cold even for us,” said Graham Briggs, Olmsted County’s director of Public Health. “Something as simple as a flat tire can become a serious, and even life-threatening situation in weather like this.”
The cold did not cause any widespread livestock deaths in southern Minnesota, said Richard Bauer, of the Olmsted County Farm Service Agency. The Olmsted FSA did receive some reports of some young calves that died and a likely loss of milk production for dairy producers.
Another round of intensely cold weather settled in Friday.