The lack of rainfall we've had in our area lately is taking a toll on people who earn a living working outside. Landscaping businesses like OPE'S say their profits are drying up as grass continues to wilt under the bright July sun. Owner Andy Opalewski says this summer has been a real struggle. He says only half of his lawn service customers are being serviced right now.
"There's lawns that we haven't cut in five weeks. You get to the house, you look at it and you can't cut it. You walk out on that lawn and stick a shovel in it you're breaking your shovel. You know it's like concrete," Opalewski said.
Revenue for the company is down about 60 percent for July so far. To make matters worse, the company, which also offers a snow removal service, lost nearly a quarter of a million dollars last winter because of the lack snowfall the area received. Opalewski tells WNEM his business is fighting a losing battle. He's worried that the brown grass will have some of his 25 employees seeing pink slips if rain doesn't start to fall soon.
"If it stays like this for a month, we'll have no choice but to start laying some people off. Our payroll is high. Our overhead is high. Our profit is low. Our income is low. It's really tight," Opalewski said.
For now, his employees continue to work. Hoping for a change in the weather pattern that will save their jobs. Opalewski tells WNEM that most lawns need about three days of steady rain to recover. Despite the First Warn 5 forecast only calling for minimal rain chances over the next week, Opalewski is staying optimistic for now.
"We've tried the rain dances, we've tried calling Mother Nature, but she hasn't returned our call yet. We're just kind of waiting it out. You know we're all upbeat about it, but it's starting to really get us nervous," Opalewski said.
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Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
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