Malls have reopened. Florist shops are running full speed, restaurants are restocking. But this week's snow and ice has wreaked havoc on Valentine's Day preparations. All the closings and delays have had to put retailers in a bind.
Florists and bakery both had to let their employees go home early Wednesday. Today it's all hands on deck, and they'll be working late into the night to make sure they're caught up on orders.
"It's the busiest flower day of the year. Period. The end," said Dorothy McDaniel, owner of a Birmingham flower market.
Her shop typically does 15 times its normal volume on Valentine's Day. It was not ideal to be pounded with snow this close to the big day.
"Employees started leaving around three. Some of them stayed until seven or eight, but once the snow started we got everybody out of here quickly," she said.
Normally, all twenty-two of her employees would have worked into the early morning hours. Since they could not.
"What we've done is temporarily cut off deliveries for tomorrow," said McDaniel.
If you had not placed a delivery order prior to the snow storm, the only option at this point is go to the store for a pre-made flower arrangement. McDaniel can't say for sure if she will be able to resume taking orders before tomorrow.
"Because we missed a number of man hours because of the snow," she said.
At Edgar's Bakery in Birmingham, Director of Operations, Frank Mazzara says he was forced to close doors two hours early.
"It does hurt us from a production standpoint," said Mazzara.
Mazzara says the good news is they've continued taking orders, though several pickup times have been shifted.
"We've had a lot that we had to rearrange, you know, people wanting to pick up yesterday," he said.
Mazzara says bakers will stay in the shop at least four hours after close time at six. As for McDaniel, she'll burn the midnight oil.
"Last year I was here all night. So, you know, we'll stay here until we get the job done."