Chillin’ in the heat at Win Chill

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Not everyone in KELOLAND is wilting in this intense heat wave. Some are actually thriving, because their work keeps them indoors, where the temperatures run well below zero! This Sioux Falls warehouse is an arctic oasis in the midst of our tropical heat.

Working indoors, on a hot summer’s day, is one of the polar perks at Win Chill Cold Storage in northwest Sioux Falls.

“It’s refreshing to walk into work every day,” Win Chill Manager Jason Marquardt said.

Win Chill warehouses frozen foods bound for all parts of the country. So the temperatures inside the company’s massive freezers dip down to 20-below zero! Heavy coats and face masks are standard attire.

“When you’re in 10 or 20-below, you gotta have your face covered, just like the winter time,” Marquardt said.

Workers enjoy having winter in July.

“I prefer it in here any day, man. As soon as you leave out there, it hits you as soon as you leave the freezer. I’d rather be in here any day,” Romero Brown said.

But humidity from outside can seep through the loading docks and mix with the cold air inside, creating an eerie fog on the warehouse floor. Workers are careful in dealing with any visibility issues.

“They got to have the lights on, the fork lifts got to blow the horn, let us know because we’re walking, unloading stuff, crossing their paths, if we can’t see the lights and the horns, you might get hit or something, you you gotta keep your head on a swivel,” Brown said.

Win Chill workers move about 2-million pounds of product in and out of the building every day. It’s that constant motion that keeps them warm in these cold conditions.

“Keep moving, stay busy, stay busy, keep warm. They’ll find something for you,” Brown said.

It’s important to stay busy in the hot market of cold storage, where frost warnings are part of the mid-summer forecast.

“There’s a lot of hot warehouses around town and we are not one of them,” Marquardt said..

The company says, despite the cold indoor temperatures, the warehouse is also a comfortable place in the middle of winter. Because of a good ventilation system, Win Chill workers don’t have to deal with wind chills.

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