No. 9 Story of the Year: Snow, cold weather impacts businesses

12/24/2014 8:00 AM |
A snowman is covered with more snow in Cutchogue. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

A snowman is covered with more snow in Cutchogue. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

Long Island’s winter snowfall total for 2013-14 was record-breaking.

When all was said and done, 63.7 inches had fallen, making last winter the second-snowiest on record for Long Island, according to National Weather Service recordings at Islip. While that falls short of the 73.5 inches that fell during the 1995-96 winter season — the highest snow total since record-keeping began in 1984 — it beat out the winter of 2003-04 for the No. 2 spot by nearly five inches.

The snowy winter severely damaged roadways in Southold Town. Water from the large amount of snowfall was blamed for seeping into cracks and creating widespread potholes. To remove the snow, the town highway department nearly exhausted its sand and salt budget for the year, spending roughly $140,000 to clear the roads.

Businesses weren’t spared by the slowdown in sales associated with the storms and prolonged cold.

After 18 years in business, JET’s Dream boutique on Main Street in Greenport closed its doors in April. While owner Joann Tamin said several factors led to her decision to close the store, the weather contributed to disappointing sales. She called the harsh winter “the final nail in the coffin.”

In addition to the snow, the cold lasted well into the spring, causing local business to slow down, Greenport Business Improvement District president Peter Clarke said.

“The lack of traffic was notable this year versus other years,” he said. “People just didn’t want to be outside. It was brutal.”

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