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With Valentine's Day coming up on Friday, love may be in the air, but so are snow and ice — and Cupid could easily be grounded.
The winter storm freezing the eastern third of the country is hitting at the worst possible time for florists, who are trying to figure out how — or even whether — they can make important deliveries in time.
With heavy snow overnight Wednesday, Strange's Florists in Richmond, Va., canceled all deliveries for Thursday and Friday.
"I've been here for 30 years, and this is the first time it's happened right at Valentine's Day," owner Christine Uyhelyi told NBC station WWBT.
More than 233 million roses were produced for Valentine's Day last year, the Society of American Florists calculated — making up a quarter of the industry's annual business.
Only Christmas is bigger, so lost delivery opportunities are a big deal.
At Pealer's Flowers in Camp Hill, Pa., owner Debbie Keys was trying to get some of the 500 orders scheduled for Thursday out the door a day early — before as much as 8 inches of snow arrives.
"Sometimes the prayers work. Sometimes, they don't," she told NBC station WGAL of Lancaster while making the sign of the cross. "We have the product. We hope we can get it to them. That's the challenge."
With New York expecting traffic snarls Thursday morning, Blossom Flower Shop in Yonkers was also trying to rush orders out ahead of time.
"They might as well enjoy their flowers a day early," said Kevin Kegan, a member of the fourth generation of Kegans running the business.
But he told NBC New York he had an even better idea:
"I'd really like to move Valentine's Day to, like, August 14th."