Outdoor workers braved cold snap
Those in eastern Pike County who had to work outdoors during last week’s frigid weather, snow and rain had one thing in common to say:
It wasn’t any fun, but it’s part of the job.
“It’s been great,” Louisiana postal carrier Tammy Epperson said with a facetious laugh on Friday Jan. 10.
Despite rising temperatures that day, Epperson was bundled up, just like all her counterparts who work outdoors.
“This rain has been insult to injury,” Epperson said. “It’s really been slick in the slush.”
Louisiana Postmaster Lynda Miller urged her employees to dress in layers.
Miller said she told mail carriers to work one specified delivery zone at a time and then get back in their trucks to warm up. Carriers often do two delivery zones in normal weather, she said.
Miller also asked postal patrons to help city and rural carriers out in snowy weather.
“If people could clear their sidewalks and porches, my carriers wouldn’t slip so much,” she said. She also asked rural patrons to clear snow from around their boxes to allow access.
The cold couldn’t stop Tom Preston from emptying garbage cans in Louisiana for Wamsley Disposal Service, but his truck almost did.
“The diesel was gumming up and causing lots of problems,” he said. “You just have to keep it running. It’s been a real bad week.”
Bob Klingler of the BNSF Railway was busy keeping snow drifts off the tracks along the Mississippi River and making sure switches didn’t freeze up. However, it wasn’t the coldest he had experienced.
“In 1983 we were out here and the wind chill was 45 below,” he said. “This year it was the wind and the blowing snow.”
Louisiana City Administrator Bob Jenne said one main water line had to be repaired at Sixth and Maryland streets.
“Now is not the time when you want to be in the water distribution system business,” he said.
John Smith, who owns John’s Plumbing in Louisiana, had a busy week.
“All I did was thaw out or fix water lines,” he said. “There’s been water lines broken all over the place, meters broken, all kinds of stuff.
“I haven’t been this busy on freezing water lines since 1985,” Smith said. “Usually, it’s only three or four a year.”
Smith said he had two tips for area residents the next time the thermometer drops harshly.
“People need to keep their heat on and keep the water running at a slow trickle,” he said.
People should also call plumbers to thaw their lines as soon as they freeze, Smith said. When the temperature does start rising, those lines can expand and crack, he added.