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Winter Weather Slams US Businesses, Including Eyecare Providers

Many stores have had to close temporarily.

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Winter Storm Uri

A crash amid severe winter weather led to the closure of Northbound Interstate 75 in Richmond, KY, on Tuesday. The weather has caused problems for retailers in many states. SOURCE: INSTAGRAM/RICHMONDKYPOLICE

Winter weather is taking a toll on businesses, including eyecare providers, in many parts of the U.S. as millions of homes and businesses remain without power.

“We got somewhere around 2.5 inches of ice (sleet/ice) and 2 inches of snow,” said Amber Fritsch, optometrist at Precision Eye Care in Mount Juliet, TN, on Tuesday. “We shut down yesterday. Called patients today and only one was willing to come in, so we closed today as well.”

Carissa Dunphy of Monroe Vision Clinic in Monroe, WA, said: “We got about 6 inches of snow in 24 hours, which is a ton for the Seattle area. The roads were cleared within a reasonable amount of time, but people canceled their appointments because they were blocked in and couldn’t get out or could get out but didn’t want to. Snow is just so foreign and inconveniencing in our area.

“We have also seen lab delays from our local and distant labs, all for weather related reasons.”

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Betsy Brockett of Zionsville Eyecare in Zionsille, IN, told INVISION on Tuesday: “We got around 9 inches or so, but some areas drifted badly so we closed today. Had planned to open at noon, but the county declared a travel warning.”

And Alexis Sheree Hale of Herkert Family Eye Care Indianapolis, IN, said Tuesday, “We started getting snow yesterday afternoon after already having a dusting. Our last four patients canceled Monday evening so we closed early at 5 p.m. After getting 9 inches of snow overnight, our doctor decided to cancel this morning’s patients. Starting at noon saw 10 or so patients. Tomorrow is a full schedule; we haven’t had anyone cancel yet, but the roads are clear now and we aren’t expecting more snow for a few days.”

Things weren’t so bad at Eyear Optical in Chattanooga, TN.

“Funny, when school is out we get really busy,” said Cindy Crittenden Henderson. “Light dusting and a tiny bit of ice on the roads.”

Winter Storm Uri has devastated much of the South and parts of the Midwest and is expected to bring heavy snow and ice to the Northeast Tuesday night, CNN reports. Many regions have reported record low temperatures, and Weather.com reports that at least 17 deaths have been tied to the storm.

And more problems are likely on the way. The National Weather Service stated: “Another bout of significant winter weather is slated for Tuesday through Thursday across portions of the South, Lower to Mid Mississippi Valley, and Lower Ohio Valley.”

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The U.S. retail sector could see a February slowdown as a result of the winter storms and other factors, including the end of the stimulus spending, MarketWatch reports. Both in-store spending and e-commerce delivery schedules are being negatively affected. Wells Fargo analysts stated: “We’d also note that late-February is normally when retailers begin flowing in receipts of Spring merchandise to stores, so cold/snowy weather may mean a delayed start to Spring demand.”

More than 450 Walmart stores and Sam’s Club locations in Texas and other states were temporarily closed due to the weather as of midday Tuesday, CNBC reported.

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