Working and Landing at RFD in the Cold

The luggage claim goes round and round at the Rockford Airport, no matter how far the temperature drops outside. The baggage never stops coming, so the workers never stop working.

Jim Hughurt is a line supervisor at RFD. “The only break you get is if there is nothing going on outside, but that doesn't happen very long so most the guys leave their gear on. We might unzip it or open it up a little bit, cause even out here in these extreme temperatures we're still sweating, so we are pretty warm.”

They're warm because their gloves will protect them to -30 to -40, their jackets until -45. But the workers at RFD knew the cold was coming and knew to prepare.

Others coming from sunny vacation spots walked through the airport doors and were slapped in the face by the brutal cold. A woman named Kimberly was one of them, originally from the south, she now lives in Racine. But she had no idea it had gotten so cold while she was away. “They told us on the plane so I was not prepared; very cold,” she said.

Until the cold conditions let up, there is no doubt that people will fly into RFD and find a much more hostile environment than the one they left. But hopefully they will feel warm inside, when they find their luggage has arrived on time.


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