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DULUTH - From slipping to sliding, winter finally made its mark in the Northland Friday.
Many people got the notice from the way their cars behaved.
"I'm sure the tire shops and most shops will be busy come the beginning of the week," owner of AutoMechanics, Mike Archer said.
Mechanics say the snow is just the calm before a storm of cold weather.
"I think it's going to catch a lot of people off guard," Archer said. "Because we've had such mild winters that cars generally will work just fine."
However, the forecasted 20-below temperatures in the coming days will not be catching Duluth city crews off guard as they prepare to deal with the tell–tale sign that frigid conditions have hit.
"Our big concern when the weather gets really cold is water main breaks," Duluth Utilities Chief Engineer Eric Shaffer said.
The City of Duluth tends to about 140 water main breaks a year and crews expect several of them within the next few days.
"There will be areas of the city without water service," Shaffer said. "Then our utility operations crews will have to put in long days in cold weather to do a lot of repairs."
It is the forecast of a freeze with a quick warm–up after that is usually the culprit for most water main breaks, including the one that flooded downtown Duluth on New Year's Day.
To prepare your car for the freeze, mechanics suggest a few basic tips. Those include checking the date on your battery as well as the levels of your anti-freeze. Also, allow your car to heat up before using power windows. And, make sure your windshield wipers are free to move before turning them on.