OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - While a saw is making short work of a pile of plywood, the temperature is 23 degrees. Operating a nail gun on a home construction site hurts the hands, but a bonfire helps take off the sting.
At an oil change business, it's the same 23 degrees. Brian Sonnier works there.
"It's miserably cold. You can't feel your fingers. Trying to work out here in this weather and bust a knuckle and it's miserable," Brian Sonnier said.
He explained how they stay warm.
"Well, we got a heater going in the store room, and we go sit in the heater in the office there. It's really too cold to be standing out here between cars."
An hour later, it's up to 24 degrees for a group of Ocean Springs' public works employees, including Devin Sonnier.
"It's pretty cold. We're wearing thermals and jackets and stuff so we're staying pretty warm. You've got to stay active and just keep going and keep the blood flowing and stay warm," Devin Sonnier said.
Staying warm is one thing. Staying safe is another. Johnny Groue is the Assistant Director of the Public Works Department.
"We had a meeting Monday and talked about things. If they get too cold, obviously, get back in the truck," Groue said.
"Get somewhere where it's warm. Get your hands warm, your feet, whatever it may be and they know what they have to do. The job's still got to get done."
For these outdoor workers, you can call it the great paradox of winter. During the summer, they take frequent breaks to protect themselves from the heat. However, in this kind of cold you stay as busy as possible.
Erube Sanchez is the construction foreman on the home construction site.
"Just keep on working and put on a jacket, a couple of jackets. You know like working around, when you work so much and moving around you're not as cold and fighting the cold," Sanchez said.
Having that fire handy certainly helps fight the cold.
There is good news for the outdoor workers. Even though the weather will remain chilly, the sub-freezing temperatures are now behind us.