Summer's rain has affected businesses, schedules

COVINGTON -- With more than 9.5 inches of rain, this June is the wettest on record since 1996. According to the National Weather Service, the amount of rainfall in the first six months of the year in the Atlanta area has surpassed the amount of rain in all of 2012. In the first 11 days of July, the National Weather Service reports that nearly 4 inches of rain had fallen.

But the rain doesn't seem to dampening the spirits of everyone.

"We have had to rearrange some of our swim lessons because of the rain, but all in all, people are still coming to the pool and enjoying summer," said Erin Gorman, child care and aquatics director at the Covington Family YMCA. "In fact, our Day Camp kids love swimming in the rain. It's almost a bonus for them and they have been able to get in the pool every day this summer."

Gorman added that the Y adheres to the American Lifeguard Association guidelines, which require the pool to close for at least 30 minutes in the event of thunder, lightning or other inclement weather.

The increase in the number of summer storms this year is one reason the indoor pool at Johnson Park in Conyers hasn't seen an increase in the number of patrons, said Jeramie Reeves, aquatics supervisor with the Rockdale County Department of Recreation and Maintenance.

"You would think it would be the case that rainy days would drive up attendance, but because we close the pool whenever there is thunder and lightning just like outdoor pools, the rainy days don't seem to increase the number of patrons," he said.

Reeves said while the numbers fluctuate, the Johnson Park pool averages about 300 to 400 swimmers daily on clear days and about 200 patrons on rainier days.

The rainy weather has also caused some other businesses to rearrange their schedules.

Larry Dorsey is owner and president of Dorsey's Services, which provides lawn care, shrub and tree care and pest and termite control in the Rockdale and Newton counties area. He said his employees schedule their work around the rain each day.

"If rain is predicted for the afternoon, we come in early and get started around 6 or 7 in the morning," Dorsey said. "If rain is predicted in the morning, we may not start until 11 or 12."

He said business has picked up over the past several months, so he has been able to hire a couple more people to keep up with increased demand.

"We have not really fallen behind because we've thought ahead of the process and we plan to work longer hours if we need to," Dorsey said.

Chris Graham with Gary's Grading & Pipeline Co. Inc. in Monroe said the heavy rains have likewise not delayed the sewer line project to Stanton Springs along U.S. Highway 278 in Covington, but they have made the project messy.

"Rain hasn't really put us back too much, maybe only two or three days, but we are a couple weeks ahead of schedule," he said. "Our biggest hassle has been the mess. We're trying to keep the road and ground clean for the homeowners along here."