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(NECN: Amy Sinclair) - Just when Mainers thought spring was putting down roots, winter weather came back for an encore Friday, which is why seasonal businesses say April really is the cruelest month.
In Lewiston, Maine, public works crews are already busy sweeping up the sand and grime winter left behind.
"To get a storm now, after we've started the spring clean up, that could really mess things up a lot," says the department's Operations Manager John Elie.
By the middle of April, Elie says the plows and wings are already off the trucks and they dread the idea of to spreading sand on the roads, only to sweep it up a second time.
"So we're hoping that if it snows, we can treat it just with salt, no plowing no sanding," says Elie.
At Drillen True Value Hardware, the winter merchandise has been replaced with tomato cages and lawn chairs. But the veteran staff here knows April is a gamble.
They say the entire winter inventory is only a few steps away if needed.
"Five feet up we have sleds, scoops, shovels pushers ice choppers," says Diane Kolenz showing off the winter wonderland in the the storage room.
For greenhouses, an icy April is a double whammy. First, they have to coddle the plant material at considerable expense.
"We just had oil delivered and it was $2,200," says Mike Blais, pointing to the oil tank in the greenhouse.
And he says a cold forecast has a chilling effect on business.
"The gardens aren't being prepped as early. The cold slows things down for sure," laments Blais.
But Mainers know the only way to get through April is with a sense of humor. Where some see sleet, Jerry Veilleux sees savings.
"Free fertilizer is what they call it in Maine! That snow gets all the nutrients down in the ground. It's great," he says.
Another plus: The cold weather keeps lightweights indoors, so there's no line at the ice cream stand.