Record rainfall puts damper on businesses
by Nikki Wiley
July 16, 2013 12:06 AM | 2156 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print

This year’s near-record rainfall has some businesses hoping for sunny skies while others are happy consumers are coming indoors, and meteorologists say it’s unlikely the wet weather will stop soon.

Business has been dismal for Holiday Harbor Marina at Lake Allatoona, said Judy Johnson, who works at the harbor.

Cloudy skies and rainy days have kept would-be boaters and swimmers indoors, leaving the marina at the mercy of unpredictable weather.

“It was miserable over the Fourth of July. It was miserable. It hurt our business badly because boat rentals, camping, we couldn’t have any of that,” Johnson said.

Since the majority of Independence Day activities in Cobb County were canceled, things haven’t gotten better for the company that depends on good conditions outside.

“This is the worst I’ve seen it in 12 years,” Johnson said.

The rain has kept county crews busy.

“Rainy weather over the last several weeks (has) resulted in numerous incidents of trees falling in roadways or knocking wires down and causing traffic signal outages,” said Robert Quigley, Cobb County spokesman. “The frequent rain also delays construction projects including paving, pouring of concrete and marking roads.”

Paving projects including those on Barrett Parkway and Old Stilesboro, Corner, Shiloh and Lower Roswell roads have been impacted. Quigley said the county isn’t sure how much it has cost to clean up debris caused by the weather, but the number will be calculated once clean up is finished.

Rainfall nearing record levels

Cobb hasn’t seen any significant flooding, said Alex Gibbs, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, but “it’s a matter of time” if this weather pattern continues.

The county is just shy of record rainfall.

The area has seen 41.28 inches of rainfall since the beginning of the year. That’s just a few inches less than the record of 45.41 inches set in 1912. July has been no exception to the increase in precipitation with 4.27 inches fallen so far, 1.94 inches above the normal for this part of the month.

About 1 inch of rain is expected to fall in Cobb this week, Gibbs said, but some areas could see more depending on the frequency and intensity of scattered thunderstorms. Most of that is expected to fall Wednesday with a 50 percent chance of rain, and Gibbs said it’s likely that rain will continue into next weekend.

Not all bad news

Wet weather has business booming at The Picture Show at Merchant Exchange, 4400 Roswell Road, in Marietta near the intersection of Johnson Ferry Road.

“The rain has actually helped us a lot,” said Katherine Driskell, a concessions worker at the theater. “We’ve been selling out of a lot of shows and a lot of people have just been coming inside because they don’t want to be outside.”

Rainy days aren’t just a benefactor in the summer. Driskell said inclement weather brings people into the theater year-round, but with students out of school that impact has been “10 fold.”

It’s a mixed bag for Bob Doyle, who owns Doyle Landscapes, 2976 Highland Drive, in Smyrna near Spring Road.

On one hand, rain has grass growing and yards needing attention, but on the other hand, it makes it difficult to work outdoors.

Doyle said the impact has been more positive than negative because his employees have been able to work around the rain and have experienced few days where the rain kept them from working all together.

“Over the past so many years, I’ve had some clients that have said, ‘Oh my gosh, it hasn’t rained. My grass is so dry. Can we just skip this week?’” Doyle said. “So we’re not getting that anymore.”

He’s got one other thing going for him: drainage problems. The landscape business also performs drainage work in the yards and homes of residential customers, and those calls have increased.

Rain likely to continue

There’s a high probability of above-normal rainfall for the next three months through September, Murphey said, though the northern part of the state will get the most impact.

Wet soil and continued rainfall could lead to damage.

“If we keep getting these pretty strong afternoon thunderstorms … one thing to keep in mind, trees can fall a little bit easier because the soil is so loose and wet,” Murphey said.


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