Centre County feels record low temps as workers brave the cold

bmilazzo@centredaily.comJanuary 7, 2014 

While the workers were prepared in extreme winter attire, Wegmans additionally provided them with coats, hats, gloves, face shields — and free hot cocoa.

“They’re not outside much. The time is far less than usual,” Malcos said. “It’s five to 10 minute shifts then they come in.”

Kyle Ast was dressed in a large orange jacket and all the winter accessories to keep warm through his afternoon shift while temperatures barely reached the single digits.

He said he helped maintain the parking lot with the help of Malcos by checking on icy conditions and clearing the handicap parking spaces.

Store Manager Todd Strassner said that on cold days such as Tuesday, the helping hands focus sometimes switches. He said workers encouraged customers to use the drive-up service instead or walkout service, but any kind of assistance was available for for the customer, nonetheless.

Around the area, U.S. Postal Service mail carriers still went about their business.

Mail carrier Victoria Hazel has been on the job for nearly three decades and covers a downtown route — all of which was spent outdoors delivering the mail. On Tuesday, she was bundled up delivering mail on East Calder Way.

Tyburski said it is possible to get another cold blast in the area.

“Statistically, the area gets one or two of these cold snaps,” Tyburski said. “That’s just the nature of winter to see these fluctuations.”

The coldest temperature ever recorded in State College was on Feb. 10, 1899, when it reached minus 20 degrees. More recently, Tyburski said the next coldest temperature came Jan. 20, 1994, when it reached 18 below zero.

“More than anything, we want people to use common sense in this kind of weather. That’s key with extreme weather and knowing your limitations, and to dress warm and keep exposed skin covered,” Tyburski said.

Frostbite can affect exposed skin within five to 10 minutes of being outdoors in temperatures like on Tuesday, Tyburski said.

Temperatures Wednesday will rise to about 20 degrees in the area, and temperatures may reach the 30s on Thursday. By Friday and the weekend, Tyburski said temperatures will be in the low to mid-40s with a chance of rain.

Britney Milazzo can be reached at 231-4648. Follow her on Twitter @ M11azzo.

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