Construction crews brave frigid temperatures

By Meggan Gray - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The biggest challenge for those working outdoors Friday, was definitely the cold weather. Whether they were high in the sky, or down in the dirt, the 80 workers braving the cold at the Coast Coliseum expansion site in Biloxi could definitely feel the chill in the air.

"It makes it a little harder to concentrate when you're worried about being warm," says Yates engineer Rusty Carr. "Other than that it doesn't affect us. We're used to it. We're out in it all day, everyday."

Carr was one of the few who actually took off some of his clothes while working in the chilly conditions. He shed about three layers of coats and sweaters after swinging a sledge hammer.

"I hate cold weather. I despise it, so I wear a lot of clothes to work everyday."

The sun kept Carr somewhat warm, but it was a different story inside the belly of the massive steel and concrete building.

As job superintendent for Yates Construction John Isberto explains, "Right now the building is open, and the wind is blowing through so it gets pretty cold."

Electricians inside the open building are shielded from the sun, and worse, surrounded by concrete, which seems to literally suck the heat out of everything. The lack of warmth had electrician, Eddie Mangin covered head to toe.

"Well, it's a little bit harder to move around because you've got to wear a little bit more clothes."
Mangin has discovered another trick to staying warm, though. He says, "There's an old saying -- the heat's in the tools. So the more active you are, the warmer you are. This is our job. This is where our work is, and this is what they're paying us to do."

Isberto says there were some tasks put on hold Friday due to the cold weather. The temperature was too low to pour concrete sidewalks or hang sheet roc. But other than that, the job is ahead of schedule. Isberto says he hopes to finish the job before the October deadline.