Excessive heat warning issued for part of the viewing area

Why this deep freeze is perfect for one couple

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois – You've been told again and again to stay indoors when the temperatures plunge below zero.

The Brekkes do the opposite.

"The ideal is probably 10 to 20 below," said Dee Brekke, bundled up and ready for the challenge.

Daryl and Dee Brekke started making snow sculptures more than 30 years ago

In other words, this is perfect weather to make a snow sculpture.

"It's a way to have fun with the weather," said Dee.

Their fun started with a block of snow they patted together in the front yard of a Rock Island home.

And they've let sit in the sub-zero temperature.

"This is the perfect snow right now, so we're happy to give it a try again."

For the first time in 30 years, the Brekkes are returning to their hobby of snow creations - making polar bears.

Armed with a handsaw and always ready to pile on more snow, Daryl explained the way around the frozen mound.

"If you make a mistake," said Daryl, "you can always whip up a batch of wet snow and patch it up."

The finished product stares into the frosty sky in a Rock Island neighborhood

This is a sculpture that's not finished in a day.

"Hopefully it'll come out like on the photo," said Daryl.

But that depends on every scrape of the snow.

"You get the proportions right at the beginning and then it's just getting the legs to look like legs," he explained.

Daryl and Dee are from northern Minnesota.   They know a thing or two about the bitter cold.

"When it gets more than 25-below, it's kinda cold," said Dee.

Finishing touches are made.   And the drawing is checked one more time before the unveiling.

"Seems like you start with such a big chunk and by the time you're done you wonder why did you pile all that snow up," added Daryl.

But for the Brekkes, it's a way to look this polar vortex straight in the eye and say it has met its match.

"We're embracing it rather than fight it," admitted Dee.

The Brekkes couldn't stop at just one, either.   They're working on two more snow bears in that same neighborhood.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.