Cold Weather: Harsh and Helpful for Workers Around Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  With temperatures in the single digits for most of the day on Friday, most people would rather stay indoors with a mug of hot chocolate than be outside working. Unfortunately, not everyone has that luxury.

Construction and power line workers were putting their noses to the grindstone despite temperatures they described as “frigid” and “arctic."

“I probably have five layers on right now, couple pairs of gloves and nice socks,” said construction worker Josh Burns.

Most people venturing outside Friday most likely want to dash right back inside, but these workers have to take their time with their work, no matter what the thermostat says.

“You can’t go as quick as you can, you do what you can and then move on. The faster you go, the more accidents you're going to have and things like that, so you can’t go as fast,” said Kyle Hageman, who was installing a new power line. “It's cold. You just have to deal with it, just part of the job I guess."

“They look out the window and tell you you're a week behind schedule,” laughed Burns.

At least one business owner in the metro, however, loves the cold weather.

Rick Flatt owns Sleepy Hollow Sports Park, and says these temperatures are picture perfect.

“Actually we have more snow here this year than we did last year because we have the colder temperatures to make snow,” said Flatt.

Flatt also said part of his business relies on temperatures below 24 degrees in order to cover the ski hill with man-made snow.

“Last year we may have had a little more snowfall, but really 14 inches last year is not enough to do anything with anyway, we need 30 to 40 inches which we well surpassed so far this year in snow making,” said Flatt.

Flatt says his biggest issue isn't the lack of snowfall on the ski hill; it's the lack of snow in Iowans' yards.

“When people don't see anything in their backyard or, you know, don't see a lot of natural snowfall, they want to assume that we don't have any or maybe don't have as much, but 22 years of doing this, we always have snow."

Friday’s high was 15 degrees, which is 15 degrees below average. As cold as this is, it doesn’t come close to the record low set on the same day in 1912, when the temperature dropped -19 degrees.