2004-12-31 / Community

Local Florist Suffers Holiday Disaster

By Howard Schwach


The selling floor at Dragon’s Den Florist was almost entirely destroyed by a massive flood just before Christmas.
The selling floor at Dragon’s Den Florist was almost entirely destroyed by a massive flood just before Christmas. For Harold Graham, the owner of Dragon’s Den Florist on Beach 116 Street, it was a nightmare come true – a business disaster on the eve of the holiday that provides much of the year’s revenue.

That disaster was a flood that devastated the selling floor and the basement of his shop, ruining his stock and destroying his computers along with most of his business records.

“There was literally tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage just days before my Christmas orders were due to go out,” Graham told The Wave late last week. “It was the worst possible time for this to happen.”

Store owner Harold Graham points out the water line in the basement of his shop. The water was more than two feet deep in that basement.
Store owner Harold Graham points out the water line in the basement of his shop. The water was more than two feet deep in that basement. Graham says that he had plans to remodel the shop after the holidays and that the flood would spur those plans.

“The bad news is that I lost lots of merchandise and business,” he said. “The good news is that the renovations I had planned before the flood will now be done earlier.”

Flowers and accessories in the basement were destroyed by the floodwaters. 
Flowers and accessories in the basement were destroyed by the floodwaters. Graham had already begun to renovate the apartments above the store and there was little heat in those apartments.

In the cold weather of that weekend, the pipes froze, causing the flood. Graham says that when he opened the door in the morning to enter the building, the water coming from the selling floor almost pushed him out of the way. “It was like some disaster movie,” he said.

The water in the basement was two feet deep and much of his flower and accessory stock that was stored in the basement awaiting Christmas was destroyed. Graham said that he completed much of what he could without computers, electricity or heat.

“Some people were understanding,” he said of his customers. “Others were not so understanding. One man screamed at me that I had ruined his Christmas and that he would never use my flower shop again.”

The store owner pointed out that, as of January 3 he will be back in operation with a new phone system and new computer equipment.

“Tell people that we are back,” he implored a Wave reporter. “Tell them that we are up and operating.”

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