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How Maintenance Workers Prepare For Cold Weather

January 6, 2014, 7:10 AM by Brittany Larson

How Maintenance Workers Prepare For Cold Weather

While some people have the luxury to stay indoors and avoid the historic cold, others may be forced to work outside.

"Anytime you are working in that extreme of a condition, it slows things down," Water Distribution Supervisor Brad Maddox said.

The City of Sioux Falls water maintenance team deals with around 60 water main breaks per year.

"Anytime the ground moves a little bit, it causes more pressure on the water mains and they break," Maddox said.

Around 20 water main breaks occur during the winter months. However, crews are prepared for these types of conditions.

"We provide all of our full-time employees with ice-armor outerwear. It's really warm gear for them to use if a water main breaks. And we always emphasize safety on the site, as well," Maddox said.

The unprecedented cold front will also delay some construction projects in Sioux Falls.

"It will set us back even more than what we already are. This winter has thrown a complete wrench into the schedules. Everything is behind schedule," Owner of Pro Framing, Inc. Eric Bartmann said.

Bartmann says Monday will be out of the question to work outside.

"Sub-zero temperatures, sub-zero wind chills, minus 10 below wind chill is typically where we cut it off," Bartmann said.

The temperature is expected to rise and be in the 30s by Friday. A much needed "heat wave" for Bartmann and his crew to get back to work.

"It's extremely important that they make deadline for the clients to keep their projects going, important for the employees so they have their paycheck and for his business to keep the revenue coming in," Bartmann said.

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