Downtown businesses washed out by holiday wet weather

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News 12 at 11 o'clock / Saturday, July 6, 2013

Augusta, Ga (WRDW) - "We have to overstock everything on holidays that we think we're going to get super busy," says Samantha Bryant, who's a bartender at The Cotton Patch.

But it's a different story this weekend for her.

Not as many drinks being made, and not a lot of money either.

"They've said in years past, they've moved out all the bar stools, and the bar's been super packed," she said.

But on this fourth with rain making a dreary downtown and more police patrolling for the holiday weekend, Bryant says the combination isn't making for booming business.

"It definitely prevents people from coming places like this because we have a lot of bar business," she said.

Good news for Sargent Danny Whitehead who says, "With the rain, it's going to play a big part in it, a lot of people are staying home instead of going out."

That means less traffic stops, less DUI's and less traffic fatalities.

"Going into the same time period last year, we were at 22, going into the same time period this year, 2013, we're at 11," he told News 12's Patrick Price.

It's the first major holiday since Operation Thunder rolled out of town.

But Sgt. Whitehead says deputies are still out regardless of the wet weather.

"With the traffic division, we have enough man power, we are strong enough to get out and still conduct these road checks and make sure that safety is taking place," said Whitehead.

A big push this holiday weekend but Bryant is ready for business to pick back up.

"After everything pretty much settles down, the sun comes back out, it gets a lot warmer, we'll be a lot busier," she says.