Outside workers brave freezing temps

(WJLA) - Even veteran cold weather warriors who work in the freezing elements to make life easier and safer for the rest of us, found Tuesday’s temperatures brutal.

Postal carrier Joe Morgan is in the middle of his six to seven hour shift in the cold; he says it all depends on how many people stop and talk to him.

"They will do it, but they will be in their car where it is warm," he says.

And at lunchtime, we found Anthony Lunghi in the middle of the street in Arlington, digging holes and taking measurements. He works for a utility company that tests underground lines, and has been on the job out in the cold since early this morning.

"I've had to work in the mountains in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania with 40 mile-per-hour wind gusts and 20 below zero -- so this is nothing," he says.

Glenda Amos’ job is to help keep Rosslyn clean and beautiful, but because of the cold she is only staying out for 15 minutes at a time – at most.

"If I stay out here two or three hours I would freeze," she says.

Freezing cold or not, people like tow truck driver Phil Lovell had to find a way to brave the weather. Taking a break means losing money, he said, before sharing his secret to keeping warm:

"I got a big thing of grandma's hot chocolate. Grandma always looks out for me in the morning."

And as the wind picked up and the temperatures dropped closer to zero, it became dangerous to be out too long – but don’t tell Raymond Evans that. We found him out with his trash can making his rounds in short sleeves:

"I'm used to the cold weather," he says.

People aren't the only factor affected by the weather -- dozens of water mains have burst since the sub-freezing temperatures set in. While repair crews tried to isolate a major break in Wheaton, beautician Kasie Helton hoped for their success from her empty salon.

“We can't do manicures, pedicures, nothing," she said.

The water main rupture also left hundreds of residents of the Ambassador Apartments without water. Fortunately, the WSSC brought in some bottled water to help out.

"We are relying on the fact that some have their own water and some people just do without," said Ambassador resident Vito Passemante.
At Wheaton Animal Hospital, Delano woke up after surgery to bottled water.

"We got a lot of bottled water. [It's] expensive but clean," said hospital manager Keith Dryer.

Water mains succumbed to the cold in Virginia as well, and crews had to manually open the HOV lanes on 395.