Heavy East Coast Rains Slow Business

May 19, 2006 - 11:08

The green industry struggled to maintain sales after a significant amount of rain slammed into New England. The deluge, which spread from Boston to southern Maine, continued for nearly a week.

The floods, the worst in that area in 70 years, according to the Society of American Florists (SAF), caused the governors of Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire to declare states of emergency. Many shoppers stayed home at a time when the horticulture industry usually sees a significant sales boost — Mother’s Day weekend. The rain became so bad in some areas that a few retailers had to close up shop after products were damaged or stores were flooded. Those that remained open saw less foot traffic.

“We had to put up a sign at the end of the road to let people know we were open,” Steve Flynn, owner of Nunan Florist in Georgetown, Mass., told SAF.

Gardeners across the wet area also said the rain put them behind in their buying schedules. In some cases, they were not able to start working in their gardens until a month after they usually do.

Mario Marini, of Marini Farms in Ipswich, Mass., has faith that people will have another chance at gardening this season. “It is still early, and we still have plenty of time for growing,” he said to the Salem News.

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