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Rains strike blow to economies across West Virginia

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Rains have fallen steadily on North Central West Virginia for over a month, washing many dollars away from the local economy as much of the terrain lies drenched.

Exponent Telegram photo by Zach Tuggle Mark Bonamico, owner of Bonamico Construction, secures a tarp Wednesday at a worksite in Bridgeport. He says the rain has impeded work, but his crews have been able to finish a few projects by sheltering themselves from the rain.
Exponent Telegram photo by Zach Tuggle
Mark Bonamico, owner of Bonamico Construction, secures a tarp Wednesday at a worksite in Bridgeport. He says the rain has impeded work, but his crews have been able to finish a few projects by sheltering themselves from the rain.

The National Weather Service reports the region has seen more than six inches of rainfall above normal since the end of March, with one inch coming in the first week of July alone.

“We definitely are in a wetter-than-normal pattern this year,” NWS Meteorologist Dylan Cooper said.

Work done outdoors is vital to many aspects of the state’s economy, but the number of rain-free days has been in short supply this year.

Sunny Croft Country Club in Clarksburg is one of many businesses that haven’t seen the sun frequently enough this summer.

“We’ve been closed more this year than we have any other year since we’ve been in existence since 1934,” Pro Shop Operator Krista VanHorn said. “In the last seven days, we’ve been closed three-and-a-half days.”

VanHorn said more than 100 people have been affected by the lack of play-time at the golf course this year.

“We’ve still had people in at the bar and restaurant, but not near the amount we would have had if we had golfers here,” VanHorn said.

Construction workers also have been impeded by the frequent rainfall, which has come during the peak of their work year.

“It is having a tremendous affect on contractors and construction projects,” said Mike Clowser, executive director of the Contractors Association of West Virginia.

Clowser said thousands of employees across the state are working fewer hours each week…

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