W.Pa. residents take precautions against severe cold
By Craig Smith
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
When temperatures drop below zero, mail carrier Lisa Frisco stuffs chemically activated hand warmers into her boots.
It's not in her nature to call off work, she said during a break on her Allegheny West route Tuesday as wind buffeted the North Side neighborhood.
“If I keep moving, it's better,” said Frisco, 50, of Emsworth, who has delivered mail for 18 years. “I try to put my head down and keep going.”
On a day when the mercury failed to climb much above 10 degrees, Frisco remained positive.
“This is the first really brutal day we've had and it's Jan. 22,” she said.
For Frisco and others whose work takes them outside despite the forecast, plunging temperatures usually mean getting creative with clothing. The National Weather Service issued a wind-chill advisory through Wednesday morning, forecasting wind chills of 10 to 20 degrees below zero. It urged people to take care to avoid frostbite and hypothermia.
Frisco took dressing in layers to a new level. She said she wore leggings, thermals, work pants, an undershirt, turtleneck, work shirt, sweater, coat, headband, hood, gloves and the boots.
“I'll be fine,” she said. “I've been doing this for a long time.”
Tad Kelley, spokesman for the Postal Service in Pittsburgh, said carriers can use their discretion. “If they think their safety is in jeopardy, they should get out of the cold and notify their supervisor,” Kelley said.
Ralph Slate, chief of the Southmoreland School District security force, directs bus traffic and shepherds students. “It's no picnic,” he said of the cold, adding, “You just bear with it, get done and go home. And look forward to tomorrow.”
For Tom Leech, the secret to working in brutal conditions is a good hat.
“Something to keep your ears warm,” said Leech, 57, of Crafton Heights, supervisor of sewer operations for Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority.
Leech, who has worked outside for 29 years, prefers the cold to a snowy day.
“A couple of cold days aren't going to kill you,” he said. “It is winter.”
Yet extreme cold can be deadly.
Duquesne Light sends its workers out on “dangerously cold days” only for emergencies, spokesman Brian Knavish said. They work indoors or on maintenance projects instead.
Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl cautioned residents to stay safe.
“Extreme cold can have a serious impact on our residents and their homes,” Ravenstahl said. “I urge all residents to ... stay indoors as much as possible and check on their elderly loved ones and neighbors.”
Craig Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5646 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Obama hopes to replicate CCAC job training efforts across United States
- Crisis nursery in Larimer will fill a need, founders believe
- Legal experts question prosecuting South Fayette boy for recording bullies
- Would-be drillers quizzed by Allegheny County Council committee
- South Fayette mother wants case against bullied son to be dropped
- South Fayette parents express dissatisfaction with handling of bullying
- Defense experts tell of disease they say claimed 4-month-old from Castle Shannon whose father is charged with homicide
- Ex-detective picked for Pittsburgh’s Citizen Police Review Board
- District attorney’s office takes paperwork from Wilkinsburg Middle School
- Foundations team to make offer for August Wilson Center
- Several Duquesne homes damaged in fire