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Businesses and beachgoers brace for the cold in Indian River County

Posted at 5:44 PM, Jan 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-03 19:52:31-05

Folks who would otherwise be enjoying the beach and boardwalks are now bracing for the cold, especially on the Treasure Coast where there are already freeze warnings.

Seaside Grill owner Dan Culumber tracks every major storm off Florida’s coast. “Weather’s a big factor for us. Very big”

However, Wednesday, he’s not tracking hurricanes.

“This is the coldest weather we’ve had in quite a few years now,” said Culumber.

He’s bracing his beach-front business in Vero Beach for freezing cold temperatures.

“We’re going to run chicken and dumplings tomorrow soup-wise for tomorrow. I told the cook.”

While he already knows it will be a slow rest of the week because of the cold, he's keeping the coffee cups warm, and he says they will be open even though the restaurant doesn’t have heat.

“What we do is, the windows will be shut and we turn the exhaust fan off at night and no air
will be sucked in."

Meanwhile, out on the boardwalk behind his business even the lifeguard is bundled.

“It's hard to believe. It’s still warm for us,” said Ed Szczepaneks. He and his wife are snowbirds from Massachusetts.  “We left what 7 degrees below zero."

It may not be as bad as it is back home, but the unusual cold spell still caught them off guard.

“We’ve got some warm clothes, but I just had to go out and buy some socks because I didn’t have any socks,” said Ed’s wife June.