Rain affecting area businesses

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It's day 15 of 2013, and of those 15 days, 11 have been wet. While rains have flooded some parts of the metro area, it's causing an economic drought for some local business owners.

Unused spray bottles and empty wash stations: the sight at Benny's Carwash locations across town where customers are few and far between because of constant rain.

"We're down 80, 85 percent over this time last year for the first couple weeks of January. It's literally been rain every day," said Benny's owner Justin Alford.

Alford says things have been so slow for him and his staff that he's resorted to closing early a few days. Management at Louisiana Nursery on Perkins Road has not cut days short, but sales are down 30 percent and customers hurting too.

"Now being the ideal time to plant your shrubs and your trees...especially citrus trees, this is an ideal time, and it's just too wet," said Kathy Talbot-Williams, the store's assistant manager. "You can't dig in your yard practically without hitting water."

Talbot-Williams says the store is preparing for sunny days to come and the rush of customers that they will bring. In the mean time, she says, people with green thumbs should just sit tight and take good care of the plants they already have at home.

"Inside your heater's going to dry them out way too fast, and watering inside is not a good idea," said Talbot-Williams. "Keep them outside where the humidity is there. They can draw moisture from the air, and watch the watering. Don't let them just sit out there."

The management and staff at Benny's are just waiting too. They are waiting and hoping for a break in all of this dreary weather to get workers and wash machines busy again.

"I pray every night, and I pray all the time. I don't like to pray for prosperity, but however, I'm praying for some sunshine. We need it, everybody needs it, the whole city needs it," said Alford.

The rain has also delayed construction and landscaping projects all over town, including Repentance Park downtown near the River Center.

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