How Shoe Stores Are Dealing With Tropical Storm Barry’s Severe Weather and Flooding in New Orleans

Severe weather is once again having an effect on businesses in the South as some shoe retailers in New Orleans were forced to shutter their doors yesterday due to severe weather and flooding.

A flash flood watch remains in effect as southeastern Louisiana braces for Tropical Storm Barry, forming over the northern Gulf of Mexico, which is expected to bring rounds of showers and thunderstorms to the area through the weekend. The watch has now been expanded north to include southwest Mississippi.

Yesterday, flooding occurred in downtown New Orleans, including historic Bourbon Street. According to Accuweather.com, the storm could potentially unleash a deluge of more than two feet of rain to parts of the Gulf states, with 20-plus inches possible in spots that include New Orleans.

At John Fluevog in New Orleans’ French Quarter, senior sales associate Erin Fowler said, “We opened late yesterday due to some flooding, although it didn’t flood in our area. The storm turned last night and is now heading toward us, but right now, it’s sunny and gorgeous.”

Greg Cho, owner of STNDRD Athletic Co., a two-store chain in New Orleans, was not quite as fortunate. His store on Decatur Street in the French Quarter was closed since employees were not able to reach it due to area flooding. However, the Canal Street store in the nearby downtown section of the city was open, although nearby retailers did experience flooding.

For fellow retailer Orleans Shoe Co., a four-unit comfort chain, owner Phil Piediscalzo said his Magazine Street store located in a busy shopping downtown district did get some water, the first time since opening five years ago. “It was closed all day Wednesday, but open today,” he said. “I couldn’t get to the store for two hours.”

Although his French Quarter location on Bienville Street was not affected by the flooding, Piediscalzo decided to close it due to lack of traffic. The area is frequented by tourists who are often afraid to come out shopping due to street flooding, he noted.

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