While the situation has not yet resulted in job losses among ship crews, Burkey said some of the businesses to which he's long delivered supplies are shutting down because the harbors are just too unreliable. Others are switching to truck and rail to bring supplies.
Some harbors also are planning to shut down, said Breederland, while others may not be able to accommodate some larger recreational and charter boats that bring tourists to the region when the weather warms.
That worries Steve Christian, the owner of Dinghy's restaurant in Frankfort. About 70 percent of his sales come during the summer fishing season.
"If they can't get into the harbor and go fish, they're not going to be coming into my restaurant and ordering food and beverages," he said.
Still he said, he's pretty sure things will return to normal in a few years.
"This has happened before in the living man's memory," he said. "It's cyclical, and we'll recover."