Because sawmills depended upon flowing water to float logs and to supply boilers, the mills closed and workers were laid off. Overland mail service from Portland and California to Puget Sound stopped, and when ocean steamers couldn't dock at Seattle and Tacoma, communication by sea also ceased. The river port of LaConner froze solid and measured a foot of snow on the ground.
Thomas Prosch, publisher of the Weekly Pacific Tribune in Tacoma complained that the winds from the north brought "upon us, as they do, the discomforts of Eastern winter life without the attendant pleasures, and subjecting us all to losses and inconveniences never otherwise encountered." He also reported the "general destruction of house plants," disappointing to housewives, but a boon to nurserymen.
By the end of January, the cold abated, but snow lingered for most of the winter.