Workers brave cold weather to keep water running
By Megan Boatwright
Eyewitness News Reporter
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- The bitter cold will take a toll on anyone, but imagine having to work outside in this weather.
Like the Public Works crews, who had to rush out to a broken water main near Fifth and Georgia Tuesday morning.
Outdoor workers are tough, when the wind kicks up and they have to work in the water, there's no way around it, it's cold.
"Been out here since 8 o'clock this morning," says TN American worker Brian Billups.
Billups is part of the Tennessee American Water crew called out to repair an East Ridge fire hydrant. It burst after it was hit by a car Monday.
"I have on about 5 or 6 layers," says Billups.
This worker lucked out, he's working in the dirt but thankfully not water.
"Believe it or not when you're working in the winter the water is actually warmer than the air," says Billups.
These guys are all wearing 5 even 6 layers, when they're active they stay warm. But there's not much you can do about wet clothes.
"When you get out and the wind hits you, you know that's when it hurts," says Billups.
And cuts straight to the bone, enough to get to the toughest guys on the job. Even though they don't let it show.
"Try to stay warm but there's really nothing you can do about it, I mean it's just the weather," says Billups.
And when you work outside, it comes with the territory.
"You get used to it, I guess when you first get out here or if you've never worked outside it may be a little more difficult," says Billups.
Every outside worker will tell you, layering keeps you much warmer than just a heavy sweater or jacket. Making sure your feet and hands stay dry and warm is key for outside workers too.
They all wear heavy gloves and more than one pair of socks.