St. Paul Residents Don't Just See Ice, They Hear It

fromMPR

In Minnesota, the coldest winter in decades is ebbing with eerie sounds in St. Paul. The howl of melting ice on the Mississippi River got people's attention.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's go now to St. Paul, which has plenty of icy water to hear the spooky sound of winter turning into spring. Here's Minnesota Public Radio's Tim Nelson.

TIM NELSON, BYLINE: It started about 4 o'clock in the morning. It was a howl. Or a screech. Or a scrape, depending on who you asked. Here's what it sounded like.

(SOUNDBITE OF HOWL)

NELSON: Rachel Barth lives on the east bank of the Mississippi, near where it joins the Minnesota River.

RACHEL BARTH: It was like what a whale would sound like, which obviously there's no whales on land, combined with like a howling of a coyote or something like that. But it was really, really loud.

NELSON: Barth says even her dog was scared to go outside. Jeff Zaayer, who lives a few blocks away, thought it was a dog.

JEFF ZAAYER: I thought it sounded a little bit like a hound dog or something whining.

NELSON: Police drove around to investigate and ruled out a light rail train and a nearby construction project. The shipping season won't open again for weeks. The Army Corps of Engineers sent a sample of the sound to the cold region's research and engineering lab in Hanover, New Hampshire. They suspect the eerie sound is the ice on the Mississippi from the coldest Minnesota winter in 32 years slowly and noisily giving way. For NPR News, I'm Tim Nelson in St. Paul.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: