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Outside workers, others make best of brutal conditions in Milwaukee

Posted at 5:24 PM, Jan 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-25 19:17:16-05

While most of us are trying to stay indoors as much as possible now, some people don't have that option.

In other words, it's a good time to say thank-you to the people who deliver your mail or food, pick up your garbage, and those who work to keep you safe. For anyone who works outside, these temperatures are brutal.

Many construction sites were empty Friday. The weather was too much of a health risk.

But for many, it's just part of the job.

"Right now, I'm loading up this equipment at the job site," truck driver Randy Rustick said. "It's so cold, some of the machinery doesn't even work."

Rustick comes prepared. "I keep all kinds of extra clothes in the truck because you never know. I have different hats and 10 different kinds of gloves in there."

Tow truck drivers also are working extra hours in the cold. Many of them say business is booming. A lot of cars have problems in these frigid conditions.

The extreme wind chill also is posing a challenge for anyone who relies on public transportation.

"It's so cold, some of the machinery doesn't even work." — truck driver Randy Rustick

"I had to dress up in three layers of clothing," said Serena Lewis, whom we found waiting to catch her bus to work. "It's so cold. The bus shelters should be more protective. It will be even worse tonight, when I have to wait for my bus home once the sun goes down."

The Salvation Army has four warming centers open around the area and provided free winter coats Friday.

"It's not easy raising three boys by yourself," said Henry Cox, who brought his great-grandsons to get coats.

With a rising heat bill, and the growing cost to feed his family, Cox says help with the basics — such as a warm coat and gloves— really makes a difference.

"There are a lot of kids and adults who don't have the money to afford coats and things, and this giveaway is a blessing from God," Cox said.