In the middle of a Minnesota winter, man installs in-ground pool, thanks to mild temps

It began as a conversation in the middle of January. That the weather, turning extremely mild again after a brief cold snap, was actually warm enough to install an in-ground pool.

The more Shawn Racine thought about it, the more he wanted to do it.

"Let’s do this," he said. "There’s no frost in the ground. Let’s give it a try!"

Racine is the owner of Superior Landscaping and a co-owner of a pool installer called A Pool Day.

Pool installations normally begin around April, once the ground has thawed and the snow has melted. To put one in during winter quickly became a quest for the sake of saying he’d done it.

"Well, almost bragging rights," he said. "Hey, we put a pool in February! Something to look back on."

"And then as the whole team got onboard, because it can be just my crazy idea, and they’ll say nope, we’re not onboard. We won’t do it, everybody was like, let’s do it!"

(FOX 9)

Originally, he hoped to get one done by the end of January and began calling customers on their slate to see who had a yard ready to go on short notice.

That challenge pushed it back to Feb. 5, when a customer in South St. Paul said yes, intrigued by the novelty of it all.

"Even the city that was pulling the permits and helping us with that process, they were really giddy, too. They were like, ‘I can’t believe this is happening.’"

Normally, the ground in February would be a no-go for anything close to this kind of work, far too frozen to dig up. Not this winter.

"It’s not at all, no," said Racine’s partner in A Pool Day, Chad Christner.

"No, that was easy. We hit maybe an inch or two of frost. It wasn’t much at all."

So in one day, on Feb. 5 5th, they dug the hole, hoisted in the fiberglass pool, trenched in the plumbing and filled it with water.

They said even the water truck was easy to schedule because they’re not busy adding layers of ice to outdoor skating rinks.

It is a very abnormal winter, to say the least. It’s unsettling for those who love outdoor winter sports. And it’s concerning to climate scientists, who worry about the long-term implications of setting any kind of records.

For Shawn Racine, it’s also nearly unthinkable he could do this at all.

"This kind of stuff in Minnesota doesn’t happen - we’re not putting pools in January and February."

This year, he did.