Companies see uptick during winter weather

Published 11:56 am Monday, January 9, 2017


When winter weather moves in as it did this weekend, many businesses decide to shut down for safety.

However, there are some that see an uptick in business during episodes of snow and ice and single-digit temperatures.

Dewayne Ellison, owner of B&D Towing, said it is normal for his business to see an increase in work because of hazardous roads.

“We normally do have a couple of more people on standby,” he said. “Unfortunately for everyone, the roads are slick and there are more accidents.”

Ellison said drivers should try to stay home if at all possible, but if they must go out, to drive slow and take their time.

Even though more towing jobs leads to more profits, Ellison said safety is still the No. 1 priority.

“Stay home the best you can. That’s the main thing,” he said. “Hope no one calls but ready if they do.”

Business booms for hardware stores in the area, as well.

Scott Smith, store manager at Lowe’s Home Improvement in Washington, said the store sees an influx of customers looking for pipe insulation or coverings, salt and heaters, to name a few.

“We’re very similar to the grocery store when it comes to that,” Smith said. “A lot of cold weather products.”

Despite insulating pipes, there are many who will experience frozen pipes that burst. This undoubtedly gives a boost to the plumbing business, too.

As one employee at Bill Bradley Plumbing put it: “We’re slammed.”

According to Smith, Lowe’s saw a noticeable increase in salt sales as early as Thursday.

He said homeowners should put coverings on outdoor faucets to avoid bursting pipes, unscrew exterior hoses and leave inside faucets on a tiny drip.

“Definitely the outdoor faucets you want some type of coverings on them,” Smith said. “Be careful with … any heaters that run off any combustible material.”

Heaters and generators can lead to fires, but they can also cause carbon monoxide poisoning if users aren’t careful.

Smith said many people move generators into their garage if the power goes out in the winter, but there may not be enough ventilation there. Without proper ventilation, exhaust causes problems.

“Unfortunately, that carbon monoxide will come in from the garage and into the house if the (garage) door isn’t open,” Smith said.

Temperatures are expected to stay below freezing into today, according to the National Weather Service, so even though the winter storm has passed, its aftermath is still a threat.