Record rainfall puts damper on businesses
by Nikki Wiley
August 05, 2013 12:00 AM | 807 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA - 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.

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 cleanup 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 that part of the month.

Not all bad news

Wet weather has business booming at The Picture Show at Merchant Exchange, at 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, at 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."

Who benefits?

Businesses that depend on customers coming indoors, like movie theaters, shopping malls and indoor recreation centers, are seeing an increase in traffic due to the rainy weather.

Who suffers?

Construction companies, parks and businesses that do most of their work outdoors are hoping for drier skies.

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