First Snowfall Brings a Flurry of Business

Snow plowers and local businesses welcomed the first snowstorm of the season, expect much more to come in February.

To some folks in the area, Saturday’s of the season was like manna from heaven.

Just ask Northport resident Michael Catrone, who’s been plowing for the past 15 years. “I guarantee you every snow plow driver hates plowing, but the money’s good,” he said. 

Early Saturday morning Catrone, who plows driveways and parking lots in Northport, Melville, Kings Park, and Farmingdale, was already out on the road. At one point in last year’s record-breaking snowstorms, he worked more than 30 hours straight, and had to sleep in his truck. “The last driveway to get plowed is mine,” he joked.

Scott Campagnola called the snowfall a “godsend.” His flooring business has been slow due to the economy and Campagnola, who’s been plowing for the past 25 years, said he’d been waiting for this for the past two months.  “Every time it snows, it’s money for me.”

Contractor Anthony Litsch, of All Aspects Home Improvements on Elwood Road, bought a new truck and snowblower after last season’s harsh weather. “Last year killed us,” he said before Saturday’s storm. “We made good money but we put a lot of money back into the equipment.”   

Litsch, who has a crew of five, said a lot of last year’s work involved shoveling snow from roofs, which were buckling under the weight of ice. The slow start to this year’s season was offset by steady work in his contracting business. But he added that there have definitely been winters when he relied on the money from plowing to help get him through.

Other area businesses also benefitted from the storm. Brian Croft, who was working the customer service desk at on Route 25 A said business was brisk on Friday and noticeably heavier on Saturday morning as customers snapped up the essentials.

was well stocked on Saturday morning with plenty of firewood, ice melt and snow blowers. Manager Chris Rey said he was expecting to see lots of traffic by Saturday afternoon, noting that people may have underestimated the amount of snow that actually fell. When told that Monday’s temperatures were expected to top 50 degrees, Rey laughed. “We don’t want to hear that,” he said. “We want snow.”

The season’s unusually warm temperatures are making the record books. December was the fourth warmest in the past 117 years. But those, like Rey, who want snow, should take heart. The Farmer’s Almanac, which has been continuously prognosticating since 1818, predicts heavy, wet snow sweeping up through the mid-Atlantic across the rest of the Northeast, with 12 plus inches possible between Feb. 20-23.  

So what was the Almanac’s long-term prediction for Saturday’s weather? “A chance of snow or rain.” 


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