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How outdoor workers handle cold weather

Many say they're used to it, prepare accordingly

How Outdoor Workers Cope With Cold...

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Most of us can't handle being out in sub-freezing weather for very long.

So we can appreciate the people who make a living working necessary jobs in the cold.

Cletis Leppo is a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service and has seen many cold days in his 32 years of experience.

On Thursday, he wore a face mask that covered everything except his eyes.

"I also wear a different glove on each hand," he said.  "One for warmth and one for grasping the mail.  I wear several layers and eat a lot to keep my energy level up and generate heat."

Leppo said what helps keep him warm is the support he gets from his mail customers.

"They say they wish they could bring me in, warm me up and offer me some hot chocolate.  And then sometimes I get a guy who wants to give me a little something warmer -- maybe some whiskey or something, you know?  I tell them I'll come back for that."

Then there's trash that still needs to be collected, no matter how cold the weather, and it's just another day of work for Bestway Disposal in Colorado Springs.

"I've been here 13 years," said Denny Scheiler.  "We all know what to do to stay warm, how to dress, how to prepare."

Wednesday's and Thursday's cold and snow were too much for most construction workers, who were given the days off.

"There's not much we can do out here," said Mike Ingram of Kraemer North America, the contractor for the interchange project at Interstate 25 and Cimarron Street in Colorado Springs.

"Worker safety is important to us," he said.  "On a day like today, the best we can do is prepare for a better day."

Ingram said workers expect to return Friday as temperatures are forecast to be in the 40s and 50s through the weekend.

A few workers remain on duty, he said, to monitor equipment used to keep pavement warm for an upcoming paving job.


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