The Ottumwa Courier

Wapello County

January 6, 2014

Delivering mail no matter the weather

OTTUMWA — The cold and snowy weather may mean children get a day off from school and some businesses close down for the day, but postal workers do not get a break from the lowest temperatures Ottumwa has seen in some time.

“The majority of them are out there for six, seven or eight hours,” said Marylou LaRose of the Ottumwa Post Office.

The mail carriers in Ottumwa stayed true to the United States Postal Service unofficial creed of “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” on Monday during the intense cold that swept across the Midwest.

All over the city, men and women braved the low temperatures, which were at a teeth-chattering -10 degrees without the wind chill Monday morning, to deliver the daily mail. LaRose said that there were more than 30 carriers making their rounds both in the city and rural areas that they cover, all bundled to the max to try to fend off the cold.

“We tell them to be safe and be aware of the signs of hypothermia,” LaRose said. “If you start feeling wobbly, then you are probably pretty cold.”

Marylou’s husband, Jeff LaRose, was one of the carriers who had to be out in the cold on Monday. According to him, the hardest part of delivering mail when the temperatures drop is keeping your hands warm.

“[The hardest part] is trying to keep warm and trying to move your hands,” he said. “You have to be able to handle the mail, so you can’t bundle your hands as much as the rest of your body.”

In order to make sure each piece of mail is going to the right person, the mailpersons have to be sure they can handle the mail correctly. That means they can’t simply wear layer upon layer on their hands, since they have to be able to move their fingers to sort through the mail. That’s when keeping their hands warm gets tough and when hypothermia can set in if they aren’t careful.

Text Only
Wapello County
  • 0617 OTT Wapello Co Fair color photo -L -M Come one, come all to the Wapello County Fair

    ELDON — The Wapello County Fair is just around the corner, kicking off with entries being welcomed at Wapello Hall and the Iowa Agricultural Hall from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday. On Thursday, entries for competition will be received from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at

    June 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Siegel, Rubel face off in forum OTTUMWA — For Steve Siegel, a political campaign is nothing new. For Tom Rubel, being the candidate is a first. Now they want the same job. Siegel and Rubel are seeking the Democratic nomination for SD 41, the Iowa Senate district which includes Ottu

    May 29, 2014

  • 0530 OTT Oak tatters picture color Oak leaves left in tatters

    OTTUMWA — Trees throughout Iowa have been terrorized by the likes of Emerald Ash Borer and other dangers in the past months and now oak trees throughout Iowa are in a little bit of more trouble because of a disease called oak tatters. Thankfully, tho

    May 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Help fight hunger OTTUMWA — The groups began with a question: How to better help Wapello County residents who don't have enough decent food. Next week, they'll decide if they've found any answers. The food security project, Growing Wapello Together, had small groups m

    May 28, 2014

  • Attempted murder trial set for July KEOSAUQUA — The Van Buren County man accused of attempted murder could head to trial in a remarkably short time. Dimitrious Royal has a trial date of July 15. If that date is when the trial actually begins, it would take place just more than 11 weeks

    May 28, 2014

  • Agency aces assessment OTTUMWA — A local agency had a lot riding on the outcome of an independent review. They nailed it. "The credential we just received was to show we are a quality [organization]," said Bryan Dunn, executive director of Sieda Community Action. "It's som

    May 27, 2014

  • County backs bike rides OTTUMWA — Bike rides in Wapello County just received a personal push of goodwill from Wapello County Board of Supervisors. Tuesday, supervisors signed a resolution of support for three area bike rides to be conducted in June. The rides include the H

    May 27, 2014

  • 0527 OTT EMS week color photo -L -M ORHC celebrates EMS Week OTTUMWA — During National EMS week, May 18-24, Ottumwa Regional Health Center (ORHC) celebrated its staff, the community EMS providers and the importance of being prepared in emergency situations through education. The ambulance service at ORHC, also

    May 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • Moving into the future OTTUMWA — Wapello County Supervisor Greg Kenning joked after the board approved upgrading the county’s servers Tuesday. “You can put away your quills.” Jokes asides, Wapello County will now have more opportunity to maximize its server resources. The

    May 20, 2014

  • 0520 OTT mushroom provided -T -M Hidden treasure

    OTTUMWA — Yes, it's kind of like winning the lottery. A mushroom hunter and her family cheerfully acknowledged that feeling after stopping by the Ottumwa Courier on Monday. In one lucky search, they'd found hundreds of morels totaling 10 pounds. As u

    May 19, 2014 1 Photo

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National