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Winter Storm Has Mixed Impact on East Coast RV Industry

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Many RV companies were back to work today after a historic weekend storm, dubbed Winter Storm Jonas, blanketed much of the central East Coast region, putting a damper on weekend business.

The weather from the storm ranged from snowfall in areas that buried cars, blocked sidewalks and shutdown infrastructure in New York City, to little or no impact in other areas along the coast. Snowfall in Central Park in New York City reached 26.8 inches, while Allentown, Pa., reported 31.9 inches. At the Baltimore-Washington International Airport in Maryland, 29.2 inches was reported over the weekend, according to weather.com reports. The storm’s effects are credited with between 25 and 29 deaths, as of Monday morning.

The impact to RV industry businesses was mixed along the coast, with businesses reporting as much as a 36-inches of snow, while others were blanketed with sleet, and yet others escaped unscathed.

In Ashland, Va., an employee at McGeorge’s Rolling Hill RV reported heavy snow over the weekend, causing the dealership, which was open Monday, some downtime.

“We left early on Friday, were closed on Saturday and are back open today,” the employee said. “We got maybe a foot-and-a-half (of snow).”

Parts supplier Camco, which is based in Greensboro, N.C., suffered some downtime over the weekend after sleet blanketed the area, causing the parts supplier to operate at about half its workforce over the weekend, according to Senior Vice President of Sales Kieth Cook.

“We were defnitely affected by it. We had about 4-inches of sleet, and that kind of shut down trucking,” Cook said. “We had people working (over the weekend), so we weren’t closed, but we basically told people that if you don’t think you can make it, don’t come into work.”

The weekend arrival of the storm allowed time for many local governments to clear the roads, reopening shipping routes and allowing most employees to return to work in the North Carolina area, Cook said.

“The roads are pretty clear and I’m sure everything will be back to normal today,” he said. “There are a lot of neighborhoods that didn’t get scraped, but most or all of the trucking is back online.”

Much of the Boston area was untouched, according to New England RV Dealers Association Executive Director Bob Zagami, who reported that the Hartford, Conn. RV show was affected slightly early in the weekend as some cautious travelers stayed home Friday, taking a wait-and-see approach.

“There was no real disruption (to the Hartford show),” Zagami said. “There was a little anxiety for the Hartford Show, which was this past weekend, but it never materialized. They were hurt more by the Patriots ballgame than the snow.”

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