's freezing out

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They’re not complaining; it’s what they do, but Randy Barbour and Ralph Gavin at Barbour’s Esso in Alberton admit their full-service gas pumps tend to get more activity than normal during foul weather and on days like Thursday when the temperature plunged to minus 25.

If that wasn’t cold enough, the wind made the temperature feel like the minus 30s.

Gavin tends the pumps bare-handed. Gloves have to come off anyway, he said, in order to open the fuel cover. So he starts the pump and promptly plunges his hands into his pockets until the pump approaches the desired amount.

Thursday, said Barbour, was also the type of day when more motorists than normal were wanting their tire pressure checked. He explained that is largely due to the drastic drop in temperature playing tricks with vehicles’ air pressure sensors.

Over at the Town of Alberton’s Maintenance department workers were doing maintenance on equipment before heading out to clean sidewalks.

Maintenance assistant Alfred Culleton said it is warm inside the cab of the sidewalk machine, but there is no protection from the elements if a shear pin breaks or the chute gets clogged. That work, he said, has to be carried out on-the-spot.

“And sometimes it can take 20 minutes to a half-hour if that gets clogged,” Culleton said. Dressing for the conditions is essential, he acknowledged.

Other maintenance work, such as replacing manhole covers or clearing blockages in sewer lines has to be carried out when problems arise, regardless of weather, he admitted.

Geographic location: Alberton

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