Cashing in on cold weather - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Cashing in on cold weather

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Meet Mike, Mike, and Mike. And when it comes to working outside in frigid temperatures, they say they're cool with it.

"You get used to it," said Mike Ballard, who works for West Virginia American Water. "We haven't had a bad winter in a long time anyway. This cold snap will be good for us. We get a lot of overtime anyway."

Utility workers are just some of the people expected to forge into the frost. 13NEWS met up with Ballard and his two co-workers while they repaired a broken pipe underneath a neighborhood in Charleston.

"These guys do a great job," said Laura Jordan, the spokesperson for WV American Water. "They work long hours in the cold weather."

To stay warm, they pile on the hats, the layers, and waterproof boots.

But the people who clothe these workers also fare well in the winter.

Dale Haynes, a manager at the Charleston Department Store, said he's definitely seen a spike in business over the past few chilly days.

"We fill a void, a niche, in the market," Haynes said. He added that sales have increased by 12 percent this week, with most customers looking for winter gear.

And coffee on a cold night seems comforting, but what about if it's too cold?

"If it's so miserable outside like this, people don't want to come outside," said Marc Bradford, a manager at the cafe in Taylor Books in Charleston. "They won't come here to buy coffee."

He says the café sees the most business when temperatures read just above freezing.

"Most customers have been complaining how cold it is," Bradford said. "I think it hurts business more than it helps. This is West Virginia. We're not used to this."