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Extreme cold temperatures playing havoc with Wisconsinites homes

JANESVILLE, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin always has at least one cold spell each winter -- but it's been so cold for so long in December, that folks are hearing strange noises at home.  

Police in Janesville say they've had 11 calls about suspicious residential activity from Sunday afternoon through Monday morning. In every one of those cases, police said they were caused by the falling temperatures and a contraction of pipes and other home materials.  

According to the Janesville Gazette, one homeowner pulled out a handgun, thinking the odd noises were a burglar breaking in. Another woman feared the same thing, and she rounded up her kids before calling police.  

Tuesday morning, it's been colder that the 4 to 10-below the National Weather Service had predicted for northern Wisconsin. It was minus-14 in Superior at 10 a.m., and it was below zero as far south as Viroqua.  

Wind chills in the northern half of the state were generally in the minus-20's as of late morning. Janesville actually got a break. It was three-above in that city, with no wind chill.  

Superior had a minus-30 wind chill early Tuesday.

It's supposed to remain cold into the New Year in the northern two-thirds of Wisconsin, while the southern-third gets anywhere from a half-inch to 6 inches of snow -- less than forecasters were projecting for this afternoon through New Year's Day.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)