ShareThis Page

Postal carriers can't escape dangerously cold weather

| Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, 12:51 a.m.
Louis B. Ruediger | Leader Times
Postal Carrier Mike Snyder, 57, endures the brutal cold temperatures during his morning route along Jacob Street in downtown Kittanning. Tuesday January 7, 2014
Louis B. Ruediger | Leader Times
Bill Rainey, 87, of Dayton, clears snow from his vehicle along Main Street in Dayton as the Marion Center Bank thermometer reads -3 degrees at 2 p.m. Tuesday January 7, 2014

Recent weather updates mentioning the polar-vortex system gripping much of the country often are followed with advice about staying indoors to avoid the negative affects of dangerously cold temperatures.

But for Kittanning postal carrier Mike Snyder, staying indoors in not an option.

He delivers mail from around East Market Street to the whole southern end of town, occasionally stopping to park the mail truck and looping through streets and alleys on foot.

“Everybody's real sympathetic right now,” Snyder said.

With negative wind chills and ambient temperatures hovering near zero for much of the day on Tuesday, Snyder said layering was crucial.

Two pairs of gloves with hand warmers helped block some of the bone-chilling cold from getting to his hands.

“You have to dress right and keep your face and hands covered. You can't expose anything when the wind is like this,” he said.

Kittanning Postmaster Rafe Magagnotti checked on Snyder and five other mail carriers, bringing them hot coffee and making sure their body temperatures were not being compromised by the cold.

Magagnotti said he talked with all the mail carriers on Monday about dressing for the inclement weather conditions.

“The safety of our carriers is our No. 1 concern,” he said.

Snyder, who has worked for the Postal Service for 25 years, said he doesn't remember temperatures being as cold as Tuesday's.

“We bundle our mail. You know it's a cold day when the rubber bands don't bounce back,” he said.

“This is why I love summer, right here,” he added, as a blast of arctic air swept along North Grant Avenue.

Temperatures are expected to reach close to 20 on Wednesday and grow warmer through the weekend.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.