Working outside in the bitterly cold temperatures - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Working outside in the bitterly cold temperatures

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With arctic cold air setting into much of the northern Midwest, it's not only dangerous along the roads but for those who have to work outside.

"Oh shucks... we'll have to move snow," property owner Darwin Sletten said.

For many people like Darwin Sletten, pushing snow is topping the to-do list... despite temperatures dropping to zero.

"As long as you're dressed for it, it's not bad at all. Yes it's cold, yes we already know it's winter time, but we put up with it," Sletten said.

'Putting up with it' might be the way to cope. But doctors at Avera McKennan say with weather like this, just make sure you're 'putting up with it' safely.

"The wind speed is the big thing. The wind chill down further, it can be a matter of minutes before the body starts to cool down. It'll take several minutes to hours for profound hypothermia but before then you can see frostbite, lower body temperatures.  Later stages, you'll see other things like lethargy, weakness, those sorts of things," Dr. Luke VanOeveren said.

"I don't have boots on and we have some warm in the cabin but about every hour I warm up a little bit. I should have worn heavier boots. what's tough is making sure you don't hit anything with your bucket and mess it up. So you have to be careful," Sletten said.

Sletten will clear snow along many parking lots of the buildings he owns in central Sioux Falls, looking ahead to warmer times ahead...

"Come January 1, I go to Palm Springs California. (reporter: So this is OK for now?) This is OK for now, it tells me what I don't want to do for the rest of the winter. (reporter: Want to take me to Palm Springs with you?) Sure!," Sletten laughed.

Doctors at Avera say this time of year they see more patients with symptoms of frostbite, hypothermia and injuries from slips and falls.

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