Wet summer helping some, hurting others
by Patrick McCreless
pmccreless@annistonstar.com
Jul 29, 2013 | 3590 views |  0 comments | 72 72 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Daniel Trantham sprays cotton at  Trantham Farms along Alabama 144 in Alexandria on Monday morning.   Photo by Bill Wilson.
Daniel Trantham sprays cotton at Trantham Farms along Alabama 144 in Alexandria on Monday morning. Photo by Bill Wilson.
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Aaron Price does not need a meteorologist to tell him Anniston has received more rain than usual this summer.

He has experienced it first hand.

Owner of Anniston Lawn Service, Price has had to contend with a slowdown in business this summer because it has simply been too wet to get out and do as much work.

"We've just been behind a little bit ... there have been some times when we just couldn't get out there," Price said.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, Alabama has been drought free for two weeks due to above average rainfall. Aside from two weeks in May, the state has not been drought free since June 2010.

Meanwhile, with 10.65 inches of rainfall so far, Anniston has had its third wettest July on record, according to the National Weather Service. The extra rain has been a mixed bag for area businesses, however, with some benefitting from the extra water while others finding it a nuisance.

Price has seen some work slow down, but he still expects his business to catch up soon and eventually benefit from all the extra rain.

"It'll be good for business ... and it's still way better than a drought," Price said. "Now we can get out and cut but in a drought, nothing grows."

Doug Trantham of Trantham Farms in Alexandria said the extra rain two months ago forced him to delay planting his crops. However since then, the continued rainfall has helped his crops grow strong and has replenished his water reserves. Trantham said he has 1,100 acres of row crops this year, including corn, soybeans and cotton.

"So far, what we've got going on, things are looking good," Trantham said. "And we've got water in ditches and ponds that have been dry the last 8 to 10 years."

Matt Anderson, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Calera, said the NWS predicts the Anniston area will have a 50 percent to 60 percent chance of rainfall Wednesday, which could push the area into its second wettest July on record. NWS statistics show Anniston's second-wettest July was in 1975 with 12.21 inches, while its wettest July was in 1950 with 13.9 inches.

"And things look to stay pretty wet next week," Anderson said. "The theme for this summer in Alabama has been a wet summer."

The rain has not been helpful for Melanie Huggins, co-owner of Anniston Super Car Wash.

"It really has slowed down business," Huggins said. "We have had so much rain."

Huggins, who also co-owns the Oxford Super Wash on U.S. 78 with her husband Jim Huggins, said the couple expected much more business at the Anniston location when they opened it four months ago.

"But we will get through this ... we're trying not to fuss about it," Huggins said.

In the meantime, Anniston Car Wash has offered discounts to seniors and military residents to help lure in more customers, Huggins said.

"That has helped some," she said.

Dr. Robert Grubbe of the Allergy and Asthma Center in Oxford, said the above average rainfall has made allergy season this year worse than usual.

"This summer we're seeing more patients," Grubbe said.

But instead of pollen, mold is causing problems for residents with allergies, Grubbe said.

"The rain washed all the pollen out ... but now we're getting a lot of mold growth with standing water ... growth in people's yards, on fences and driveways," Grubbe said. "Now people are getting a double whammy with grass cutting, they are getting allergies from that and the mold."

Grubbe noted, however, that the mold doesn't cause allergies any harsher than pollen does.

"The symptoms will be the same, whether it’s from cats, grass or mold," Grubbe said. "You get the classic allergy symptoms of red, watery eyes and a red, runny nose."

Staff writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star.



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