EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) – It was just over three months ago when the train derailed in East Palestine. Business owners in the village continue to have concerns about the cleanup and the future of the town. We spoke with one business owner who’s hanging onto her flower shop for as long as she can.
Joy Mascher, the owner of Flowers Straight from the Heart in East Palestine, was preparing bouquets on Wednesday for Mother’s Day. She says holidays and events like these have kept her business afloat.
“We had proms and Valentine’s Day. So now, Mother’s Day is this weekend and we hope to have a big turnout for that but after that, summer slows to a halt and it’s concerning,” she said.
Mascher has expressed her concerns over the cleanup efforts for a few months now. She says nothing has changed.
“Still unsure, don’t know what’s going on, so still don’t have answers,” she said.
Mascher not only has uncertainties over the cleanup, but the future of her business as well.
“I hope that we can celebrate our 10-year anniversary in August, I really do but it’s hard, it’s hard,” she said.
McKim’s Honeywine and Winery on East Taggart Street decided to close its doors in just a few months. Mascher says the derailment is having a great impact on surrounding businesses as well.
“I’m very concerned about her, she’s deeply impacted, more so than me. So I’m very concerned about her and the manufacturing places down that way. The road is still closed, you can’t get through,” she said.
East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway says if any businesses are struggling or looking to relocate, they should seek assistance from Norfolk Southern directly. However, Mascher will not.
“We didn’t cause this, so I don’t know why we have to prove paperwork,” she said.
Mascher encourages people to come shop in East Palestine and support local.