Carrier has cold job

Staff writer

Long johns are the bottom layer, covered by a long sleeve button-up shirt, a navy v-neck U.S. Post Office sweater, and finally a lined jacket.

It’s important to cover the extremities on a brisk January day with temperatures in the teens. Marion mail carrier Troy Thompson wore black gloves and a black stocking cap on Jan. 2. On his feet were insulated boots over thick socks. Thompson said boots can be a savior in any wet conditions. One of his worst outings he can remember was walking through freezing rain and snow in Peabody with tennis shoes.

The U.S. Postal Service is urging residents to shovel and salt walkways to make routes passable for mail carriers. On Jan. 2, Thompson saw that some people shoveled pathways to their porch-bound mailboxes and others had not. He just had to trudge through, moving cautiously to pass over patches of ice and slick packed snow.

His son lives in Lincoln, Neb. There, the city enforces an ordinance fining people if snow covered paths persist for too long.

Marion has a similar rule, Ordinance 951, established in 1979. However, Marion City Administrator Doug Kjellin said he cannot ever remember the ordinance being enforced and the city issuing a fine between $25 and $100. He said it’s reserved for the worst cases, after multiple feet of snow, and multiple warnings.

Thompson has worked a quarter century for U.S. Postal Service. He knows the cold in Marion is not as biting as it is in northern locales.

As he walked through the valley Jan. 2, there was a light but consistent breeze, not ferocious enough for Thompson to don a ski mask to keep his face warm.

Trudging through snow, ice, and sub-freezing temperatures is just a part of his job.

 

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