Except for the few dealers in heaters and snow shovels, Wednesday's ice storm was bad for local business. From restaurants without customers to a short-staffed florist scrambling to fill Valentine's Day orders, the dangerous weather froze income just like it did the roadways.
Bill Medlin, manager of Cowan Ace Hardware, was among the few businesspeople who could say the warning about a historic ice storm "was very good to us."
"We had an incredible day Tuesday," he said. "It was like two days [of business] crushed into one."
Before the storm, the staff worked hard to meet demand for flashlights, emergency candles and propane and kerosene heaters.
"Now they're in here buying shovels," Medlin said of his customers, adding that such other cleanup supplies as chainsaws are selling well also.
For Gloria's Florist in Conyers, it was a very different story. Owner Gloria Dyer, working frantically to make up for lost storm time, took a brief break to tell the News about her situation.
"It's terrible for us," she said, describing how the storm wreaked havoc on the Valentine's Day flower rush. "We couldn't start our delivery, and my staff couldn't get to work for two days. We've invested thousands of dollars in these roses and I'm nervous."
The flower arrangement business is all about preparation and on-time delivery, Dyer explained.
"Vases have to be prepared. Ribbons have to be placed," she said. "It's rough."
In the crisis, Dyer did find a bright spot of neighborly kindness. The nearby Karen's International restaurant also was forced to close briefly because food deliveries couldn't make it through the storm. So the restaurant manager and her daughter came to Gloria's Florist to help out.
Another local restaurant, the Whistle Post Tavern in Olde Town, stayed open through the storm, but business was "pretty dried up," manager Linda Moulton said.
"Everybody gets scared" by ice storm weather reports, she said, adding that the storm did not affect the restaurant's busiest time, which is the weekend.
Puritan Dry Cleaners also had its busiest days-Fridays and Mondays-spared. But it was forced to close and that impacted its ability to send out clothes and have orders ready on time, owner David Shipp said.
"It was a negative for us," Shipp said, adding that he hoped the holiday weekend would boost business again.
"Hopefully they'll get their fancy dresses on tomorrow for Valentine's Day and bring them in for a cleaning next week," he said.