Andrew Byrne, far left, speaks with costumers, from left, Bailey Rapp, Gina Rapp, Caroline Johnson and Julie Johnson about stand-up paddle boarding at L2 Boards on Wednesday. L2 Boards' business has been hurt by the constant rain and the fast moving water in the Tennessee River.Photo by C. B. Schmelter.
Today: High 86, Low 70, few storms
Friday: High 87, Low 65, mostly sunny
Saturday: High 88, Low 68, partly cloudy
Sunday: High 89, Low 70, possibility for evening storms
The good news is the rain should stop for a while after today.
Until then most of the Chattanooga area likely will see another inch or two of rain through today, according to WRCB-TV forecasts.
The bad news is the damage largely is already done.
Cherita Tallent, manager of Harbor Lights Marina in Soddy-Daisy, said Wednesday that her business is suffering because of this summer's abundace of rain.
"It's affected us a lot," she said. "This past weekend was supposed to be our busiest weekend of the year."
Instead, the marina brought in just over 1 percent of expected revenue so far in July. Tallent said Harbor Lights expected to make $30,000 around the July Fourth holiday.
"Instead," she said, "we just put $482 in [the bank], if that tells you anything."
Worse yet, Tallent said the marina depends on the Fourth weekend to make around 20 percent of its yearly profits. She said because people couldn't get outdoors, they didn't rent boats or fuel up or eat at the marina's restaurant.
"We lost a lot of money," she said.
Tallent isn't alone.
Terry Kelley, manager of Island Cove Marina and Resort off Highway 58 in Harrison, said business has been tough since May.
"I'd say our business is off at least 15 percent because of the weather," he said Wednesday.
He said by Memorial Day, the marina has normally already seen its first "breakout weekend" as people get their boats out and head to the lake. But by this Memorial Day, the Chattanooga area received more than 7 inches of rain in May alone and nearly 35 inches since the year began, according to the National Weather Service.
"We had [flood] water up in the parking lot until yesterday," Kelley said . "We just can't seem to hardly get started this year."
Meanwhile, Andrew Byrne at L2 Boards downtown said because of last week's rain and high, swift water, the paddle board renters can't send folks out on the Tennessee River.
"It's the fastest I've ever seen it," Byrne said of the river, which TVA is servicing by spilling more than 1 million cubic feet of water per hour through Chickamauga Dam to avoid flooding. "Before we got all that rain, we were doing great. We were super busy every day."
But now, he said the rental side of L2, which makes up a significant portion of the company's revenue, is at a stand-still.
"We can't even get to the dock where we launch from. It's all flooded," he said.
Local golf courses also took a hit when outdoor-unfriendly weather took over this summer. Donnie Wise, manager of Concord Golf Club, said the Chickamauga Creek, which runs parallel to Concord, flooded the golf course earlier in the week and the course shut down Monday and Tuesday.
But he said even the mention of rain sometimes keeps golfers at home.
"The weatherman hurts you a lot," he said .
Whether local outdoor businesses can soar back financially before summer ends is still in question.
Tallent said once August and school rolls back around in nearly a month, the marina boom season is up.
"In my opinion, you never make [the money] back," Kelley said Wednesday. "If it's gone, it's gone."
Contact staff writer Alex Green at agreen@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6731.
Alex joined the Times Free Press staff full-time in January 2014 as a region business reporter. He is a native of Dayton, Tenn., located 35 miles north of Chattanooga, and he is a fifth-generation Dayton native. Alex came to the Times Free Press as an editorial intern in July 2013. He was previously a correspondent at The Herald-News, located in Dayton, through college and editor-in-chief of the Triangle, Bryan College's student-led media group. Alex was ...