Cleveland mail carriers brave cold: ‘It’s not as bad as everybody says it is’

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CLEVELAND- Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom. Add frigid temperatures to the list of things that won’t stop the U.S. Postal Service.

Delivering those precious letters in these extreme cold conditions is a thankless job by some dedicated individuals who spend seven-plus hours of work in the elements.

"I have a jacket, a hoodie, a short-sleeve shirt and a long sleeve T-shirt. I have the outer pants and then the regular postal pants and I have thermals on underneath that," letter carrier John Foard said.

Foard has been delivering mail for 18 years.  He knows the importance of sunshine.

"As long as the sun is out, that's the biggest thing. Psychologically, it feels warmer," he said.

Even on one of the coldest days in Cleveland, you won't find Foard wearing a scarf.  He does have his hat, gloves, boots and his beard.

"It's much better than a scarf. It doesn't fog my glasses up and it catches all the moisture that would otherwise be running down my face," Foard said.

He prefers the heat over the biting cold and says occasionally neighbors will offer him a warm drink or some water.  He never uses his mail truck as a place to heat up.

"The heat works real great in August and this time of year the air conditioning works perfect," he said.

If there is one thing you can do to help out all mail carriers during the winter months, keep a clear path to your mailbox or consider moving those boxes so letter carriers don't have to climb stairs.

"Going up and down the steps. That is the worst part of the job in the winter time: the steps," Foard said.

He is not complaining one bit about being in the snow and cold all day long.

"It's not as bad as everybody says it is," he said. But it's a job that many of us take for granted each and every day.

"They freeze. They earn their money," said Cleveland resident Barbara Brogan.

"I really appreciate what they do and I can tell the time by my mailman,” said David Polk. “He comes here about 10 every day- rain, sleet, snow. Every day he is right here on time.”

Temperatures Friday dropped to a record-breaking low: -17 at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport! That’s the coldest it’s been here since 1994. People around Northeast Ohio have been sharing their cold-temperature photos. Check those out below and CLICK HERE to share yours.