Workers "just layer up and keep on trucking" as arctic blast sets in

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The bitter cold temperatures are creating difficult conditions for those who have to spend their day working outdoors. They're getting the job done, but not without some extra effort.

Crews working on the 794 overpass and the Hoan Bridge, are not letting Mother Nature get in their way.

"I have probably four layers on, and my attitude is, you can always take it off but you can`t put more on. So you just layer up and keep on trucking," said worker Will Fahrenkamp.

They're exposed to wind and temperatures that feel like the single digits.

For Fahrenkamp, getting through the day comes to an attitude adjustment.

"I`m from Minnesota so pretty used to this stuff, it`s just the mindset, you get your mind right and just keep going," he said.

When it gets so cold this early in the season, workers say they have to push themselves even harder, so as not to let the cold weather slow down their pace.

"Productivity goes down a little bit, but everybody just needs to stick out, keep warm, and get the job done," said Fahrenkamp.

Down the street, a separate crew is on another job, cutting pavement. They would typically work through mid-December, but they might have to quit early because of the cold.

"It`s cold out, it is hard to breathe with the piercing air in your lungs, but other than that I`m all bundled up, can`t move," said Justin Helgerson.

David Lemke needs to make his deliveries year-round. He says the weather is not as bad as it could be.

"Thank God for the sun, we haven`t had the sun too often in the last couple of weeks," said Lemke.

He knows to layer up, but a hurried gloves purchase is not serving him well.

"They were on clearance. I don`t have a right. I just wear two lefts until I can get some new ones," he said.

After all: "It's Wisconsin weather," said Lemke.

According to Wisconsin Emergency Management officials, health concerns in this type of weather include frostbite, hypothermia, or overexertion, if proper precautions are not taken.

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