Recent weather has had an affect on people across the Valley. Frozen pipes, power outages and broken windows seem to be the theme for local businesses after last week’s storms.
“Winter came early this year,” Mike Hudson, co-owner of 3 Rivers Fly and Tackle, said. “I’ve been behind this counter for 30 years. And I’ve never seen a November, December with that many below zero days.”
3 Rivers Fly and Tackle, located off of Railroad Avenue in Wasilla, sustained damages that the business is still dealing with.
“We’ve got band aids on ‘em,” Hudson said. “An actual repair is going to happen when the weather gets a little bit more easy to deal with.”
Hudson checked on the shop during the storm to monitor its condition. He received a call that one of the shop’s windows was broken.
“We had one of our windows get blown out that faces the direction that the wind was coming from,” Hudson said. “So we had 80 mile an hour gusts coming right in the shop. It froze pipes up and broke some pipes and stuff.”
Hudson explained that the shop was able to make repairs to become functional again. The shop is still working on installing a new window. The shop announced their reopening on the afternoon of Jan. 4 on their Facebook page.
Mary Johnson, manager at Just Sew in Palmer, explained that their store off of Alaska Street was difficult to access. Both of the store’s doors were blocked by large drifts of snow on Sunday, Jan. 2 according to Johnson.
“We shoveled our way in on Sunday,” Johnson said
Johnson said that power and heat were working while she worked inside to prepare for opening on Monday, Jan. 3. The “brunt of the storm” hit on Sunday night, according to Johnson, and shut out the business again.
“The doors had drifted shut again and I couldn’t even stand up on the sidewalk, the wind was so strong,” Johnson said.
Just Sew lost power Monday, January 3. The building’s heat relies on a boiler system and requires electricity to operate. With no electricity, the building dropped in temperature and pipes froze.
“So Tuesday [Jan. 4], we did shovel our way back in and it was 33 degrees in the store here,” Johnson said.
Johnson explained that the lower level stayed warm enough to keep from freezing. Johnson and others spent Wednesday, Jan. 5 and Thursday, Jan. 6 thawing out the pipes before they could get their heat repaired on Friday, Jan. 7. Just Sew reopened on Saturday, Jan. 8.
3 Rivers Fly and Tackle and Just Sew are just two examples of businesses across the Valley that were affected by the extreme winter weather. While shops have reopened, they will still experience the effects from the weather.
“But of course, when you have conditions like that, it definitely shuts business off,” Hudson said. “So having days with no sales at all are kind of tough.”
Some Valley businesses are still recovering from the affects of COVID-19 and have now been hit with yet another blow, according to Johnson. This time, it’s from Mother Nature.
“We are, as all of the local businesses, we are hanging in there in between COVID and now having a tough winter, you know, one that we haven’t seen here in a few years,” Johnson said. “But, you know... we do what we can.”