Record rainfall made for difficult driving and, for some strip mall businesses, flooded parking lots, but its effect on shoppers was far less predictable.
Some merchants along Route 110 from Farmingdale to Huntington Station reported steady traffic from hardy customers - many off from work for the Passover/Easter holidays. Others said the weather did dampen holiday business and they are looking to the sunny forecast for the rest of the week to make up for lost sales.
Sales were up at Target's Northeastern stores for items like plastic storage containers, cleaning supplies and wet/dry vacs, said Target spokeswoman Erika Svingen.
A constant stream of customers made it to Gothic Cabinet Craft in Farmingdale. "It's a strange thing," said manager Tom Tsoumpelis. "With all the rain, we were very busy here."
A flooded parking lot was no match for shoppers heading to Marburn Curtain Warehouse in Melville. "It's Easter and Passover," said Lois Nevins, manager. "People want to decorate their homes."
But Michael Pazderka, owner of Premium Hot Tubs & Gazebos in Farmingdale, spent part of Wednesday rescheduling service appointments canceled by the rain. Customers stayed home at the beginning of the week, which typically starts the season for hot tub and spa retailers, he said.
The rain also slowed the first few days of a holiday week that is usually bustling for Geri's Hallmark in Huntington Station, said Debbie Crawbuck. She is optimistic, however, about the weekend's warm weather forecast. "Hopefully this weekend will be good," she said.