Wisconsin News

Late snow and cold temps putting a strain on some businesses

LA CROSSE CO., Wis. - Mother Nature just doesn't seem to be loosening her grip. Some businesses in the La Crosse area said this a May unlike anything they've seen before, and they would really appreciate a warmer spring.

"It's just weird and all we can do is laugh about it," said Nancy Boehm, co-owner of the Frosty Mug in Holmen.

The calendar might have just flipped to May, but outside the Frosty Mug, the snow, sleet and cold temperatures make for a scene right out of December.

Boehm said this weird weather is making business not what it's supposed to be.

"(It should be ) a lot busier than this," said Boehm. "Now with the weather like this, no one is going to want to be out."

Not just the customers are staying indoors.


"We've had to move everything inside," said Judy Rockwood, owner of Rockwood Gardens and Floral in Onalaska.

Usually by May, Rockwood would have had most of her flowers and plants displayed outside to help bring in business.

"People see it from the road, and they can come down and they can see everything blooming and that gives them motivation," said Rockwood. "Now people are coming in and they're looking, but they do know if they put anything out it will be frozen."

"Everything that we do is dictated by the weather," said Dennis Nelson, owner of River City Irrigation in Onalaska. "So if it's hot out, we're busy. If it's cold and snows, we're a little slow."

Equipment and thousands of feet of pipes still sit in storage at Nelson's business in preparation for a busy season.

"Everybody's calling up, I think, because of last year," said Nelson. "Last year, it was so hot for so long. People realized they wanted a little bit of help watering their lawn so this year, everybody is kind of planning ahead."

So as everyone waits for a warm up, they haven't lost hope that the sights and sounds of spring will be coming soon.

"I'm hoping it's just going to be a late start to it," said Rockwood. "Hopefully, in another week or two, it will just open up and it will be beautiful."

Some green houses are worried about a shortage later on in the season.

Since the cold weather is keeping plants and flowers indoors, there isn't enough room to do a second planting of popular varieties that would normally be selling out this time of year.

The cold weather hasn't stopped businesses like River City irrigation from hiring people, but Nelson said some employees aren't able to get in a full day's work until the weather warms up.

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