Snow In Charlotte Leaves Florists Scrambling

Feb 14, 2014

Mignon Long, a floral designer at Gallery of Flowers in Charlotte, counts to make sure there are 36 roses in the bouquet on a Valentine's Day order.
Credit Tasnim Shamma

Governor Pat McCrory says he expects this week's winter storm will hit the state's wallet pretty hard.  

Gallery of Flowers was one of only a handful of businesses open on Friday morning at the Boardwalk in University City.
Credit Tasnim Shamma

Valentine's Day is supposed to be the busiest day of the year for the Gallery of Flowers in University City.

Several men are waiting in line, the phones are ringing constantly and it is busy, but mostly because owner Linda Koch and her staff are trying to catch up. She's snipping leaves off what she calls "a happy hearts bouquet."

"Because of all the weather issues, we're having to combine the 13th and 14th and reroute and reschedule," Koch says. "Any way that we can get it out today."

She's been doing this for more than forty years, but she says she's never had to scramble like this. She and her staff worked till 11 p.m. Thursday night to get orders ready and on Friday morning, she has at least half a dozen people helping her – including neighbors, friends and family.

Beth Downs is one of many friends and family members who came in to help Gallery of Flowers owner Linda Koch with Valentine's Day orders.
Credit Tasnim Shamma

"Snow falling in Charlotte is really unusual," Koch says. "Snow falling this deep on February the 14th is just … it's more than what the average florist can handle!"

Because of the storm, Koch says she only sold 60 percent of the flowers she expected to sell so far this week.

Governor McCrory expects these types of short term losses to add up and affect the state's treasury.

"We do anticipate a negative impact on revenue coming into the state, so that could have also a long term budget impact and possible government operations because of less money that has been spent in the state due to the last three or four days where the economy has basically shut down," McCrory says. 

He says he's also expecting the state revenue to take a hit because hourly employees who couldn't report to work won't be paying as much in taxes.

As for Linda Koch, she's holding out hope that Valentine's Day will extend into the weekend so she can make up for some of her lost revenue.