The low temperatures we've seen over the past couple days sure do make it hard to even think about leaving the house. But for many of us, we have to brave the cold temperatures and head off to work.
That’s no different for Unite States Postal Service workers. They have to work their usual routes and deal with the brutally cold weather all day long.
There are 40 letter carriers in the Wausau area alone, all of which deliver to right around 500 homes and businesses each day. On days with negative temperatures like today, they can still be counted on to get the mail where it needs to go.
To get a feel for just how difficult their job is, NewsChannel 7’s Al Knox walked along with one USPS letter carrier today.
Rebecca Karlen says she has delivered the mail for a little over eight years. She says that no matter how cold or nasty the weather gets, she still has a job to do. "People rely on their mail even if the weather is just about as unbearable as it gets," says Karlen.
Karlen says Tuesday is one of the coldest days she has ever had to work. "It is alright, I mean you have to wear a lot of layers and bundle up and most importantly prepare for it. You have to prepare yourself mentally and grab layers, lots of layers."
Al walked along with Rebecca for just a few blocks this morning and immediately began to feel just how cold it really was.
Rebecca says that things could have been worse. She says that delivering mail in the rain is even more difficult, especially when it’s freezing cold outside. She says delivering in snow is not so bad because you can at least wipe it off. “I don’t mind delivering in the snow. It’s one of those things you can deal with. What is really difficult is when it gets below freezing, just like today.”
The USPS mail delivery trucks do have heat, but it doesn’t always work the best. Rebecca says it's better than nothing, and does offer a bit of relief when the cold is at its worst.