Errol Ray outside spraying paint in Center City on a frigid Monday afternoon.

Andrew Kramer/KYW Newsradio

Some workers have no choice but to brave the cold in Philly

January 21, 2019 - 7:12 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Monday was the perfect day to stay indoors if you had that option.

But some workers in Philadelphia didn't have that choice as their jobs require them to be outside.

"Well, I got to find these underground utility lines because there's going to be construction on this corner, so I have to mark them out," explained damage prevention specialist Errol Ray. "It's freezing, my paint is freezing, I'm trying not to freeze. It creates all kind of havoc."

READ: City officials work to get the homeless indoors as bitter cold snap continues

Ray and anyone else working outdoors Monday at least knew these frigid temperatures were coming so they could come to work prepared.

"I dressed in layers," he told KYW Newsradio. "The key word is layers. Seven layers, no less."

He's been doing this job for over a decade and called Monday one of the top three coldest days he has had to deal with.

Ronald Brownlee, who delivers packages of food, thinks it may have been the coldest.

"I really can't remember a day quite this cold," he said. "I've been feeling it all day, my hands are getting numb, my face gets numb."

Preparation was key for him as well.

"Well, mentally just knowing it's going to be painful, you dress correctly," Brownlee said. "I have pants that have lining and I have thermals on. You bundle up!"

Both he and Ray said while the cold is a nuisance, duty calls and they're expected to be outside regardless of the conditions.