Many workers in WNC do their jobs outside even in bitter cold

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(Photo credit: WLOS)

Most of us can work indoors on bitter days, but some must work outside, and they have to find ways to stay warm. The folks we ran into know they must look on the upside, bundle up and fuel up their bodies.

Lawrence Calloway delivers heating oil so folks can stay warm in their homes. He’s exposed to the elements doing the job.

“You just dress for it, dress in layers. The key is keeping your feet dry. So, I always try to buy waterproof shoes,” Calloway said. “As long as it's not windy, you're good. When the wind starts blowing, that's when you start hurting.”

It's tough work unraveling the heavy hose off his McElroy Oil truck.

“I think it's around 100 pounds per 10 feet when you pull,” Calloway said.

It’s a trade off though on bitter days.

“Definitely generate some heat,” he said.

“I don't even have to go to the gym. This is my workout,” said Austin Francis, who explained delivering wood stokes some warmth

Layering up helps, too, he said.

“As you can see, we dress for it. We love it man. It doesn’t bother us a bit. We love getting out here, working no matter what the temperature is,” said Francis, of Francis Farm Land and Lawn Service.

“Get some good gloves,” his colleague Warren Gaddis said. "Definitely some good insulated boots and thick socks.”

Francis said a hearty meal fuels the body.

“As long as I drink my coffee and have my breakfast, a good breakfast, I'm ready to go,” he said.

“lt is what it is. We got to get out in the cold and do what we got to do,” said Chris Bryson, who was part of a crew repairing a blown over billboard in Maggie Valley.

“It will get you before you even start when it's cold like this. If we get bad enough, we'll get in the truck and warm up for a minute and get back out and get what we can get done,” Bryson said.

Bryson, of Allison Outdoor Advertising, said bundling up is key, but also cumbersome.

“Trying to stay on this sign and not be as agile as you normally are,” Bryson explained.

These are tough jobs, but, some might argue, normal for January.

“As soon as you get up in the elevations, look at this. It's beautiful,” Calloway said.

And it looks like another bitter one overnight and into Tuesday.