July 19, 2013
The James River was up to eight feet in some areas back in June, which was unsafe for rafting conditions. Now those levels have gone down to around five feet allowing people to finally get a chance to have fun on the water.
“it's still a little high for this time of the year but we're a lot better off than we were earlier this season,” says Ashley Denby, operations manager at James River Reeling and Rafting.
James River Reeling and Rafting is glad to now have their doors open.
“It's been a heck of a start this season, it's been a very late spring,” says Denby. “We lost pretty much all of May and all of June due to high water and all of the rain, but it's finally starting to calm down.”
They lost about eight weeks of revenue from those heavy rains, and had to open and close their shop every other day because water levels would fluctuate.
“This past Monday was the first time we were able to put equipment in since July 3rd,” says Denby. “So we were closed down the entire holiday season which hurt us, but we are finally open for all shuttles for all equipment, for canoeing, tubing, kayaking.”
Customers are excited that their doors are open as well.
“It will be really nice, we got some lunch, maybe stop on an island take our time, do some rapids,” says Julia Kudravetz, rafting customer. “I grew up going tubing every summer with my family and I thought I'd go out and go canoeing with some friends today.”
“With the river levels still being a little higher than normal, for most people, even with their own equipment, they need to be aware that trips are faster than normal,” says Denby. “A typical July trip takes three and a half to four hours, but right now it’s taking two and a half, so it's moving faster.”
River temperatures are in the 70’s, which is a lot better than the 90’s we've been facing for a few days, but if you are out there, make sure to wear sun screen and drink plenty of fluids.
As Denby explained, “We just want everybody to be safe while they're out there.”
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