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Drought Drying Up Business in Rocky Mount

Posted August 27, 2007

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— Some Rocky Mount business owners are finding their cash flow is drying up along with the Tar River Reservoir.

With water levels lying below half the capacity of the city's reservoir, Rocky Mount is considering imposing stricter, mandatory restrictions on water use, said City Manager Stephen Raper.

Although businesses are exempt from some restrictions, owners said they're still paying the price.

The flowers and plants at The Green Thumb Nursery look good, despite the hot, dry weather. But owner Tom Moss said the green has been fading from his business since mandatory restrictions started August 1.

"August has been slower than usual," said Moss, who added that he's seen a 50 percent decline in business in August.

The traffic flow at Gregory Mann's car wash is also down to a trickle.

"(It's) slowed down a lot. My business has slowed down since the water drought," said Mann, owner of Mann's Mobile Auto Detailing.

Raper said the city is considering several ways to alleviate the water shortage, including adopting Stage 2 water restrictions soon. Under those regulations, residents would be allowed to water their lawns only once a week.

Code enforcers have cited a handful of people since the current water restrictions went into effect, but they have not seen any repeat violators, Raper said.

City officials are also negotiating for Rocky Mount to buy water from Wilson's Buckhorn Reservoir. Although its water levels are a third below normal, the large Buckhorn Reservoir contains 5 billion gallons right now, town officials said.

Recent rain in Louisburg, upstream from Rocky Mount, provided some temporary relief for the city, Raper said.

Business owners said they'll be grateful for whatever way Rocky Mount finds to bring more water down the line.

"I don't want a hurricane, but I sure could use 12 inches of rain," Moss said. "If we can have a good fall, it will all be be just a bad memory."

Mann suggested a more colorful alternative.

"All I can do is get out there and do a rain dance," he said. "Somebody's got to."


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  • Bing Used Aug 28, 2007

    Notinitforthemoney - No thanks. If it is that bad, it wouldn't be safe, why would you or anyone else go thru there and stop for any reason?

  • Notinitforthemoney Aug 28, 2007

    I Wonder my error I should say vacant houses that these homeless people are trespassing on and using spare bedrooms for restrooms because there are no utilities to them.. Ya its disgusting and it goes on everyday. Stop your car for about 10-20 minutes and look around or just take a smell.

  • Run_Forrest_Run Aug 28, 2007

    Edgecombe County is no worse than any other 3rd world country.

    Tax base is ridiculous!!! Something like 50 percent of the monies gathered by taxes is used for (ta-dah) WELFARE Programs.

    Can't get businesses to come to RCMT because of the uneducated, drug challenged (how's that for politically correct?) people who want the Govt to 'gi da folks dey monies' each month.

    But I digress - sure wish it would rain - on both Nash and Edgecombe County.

  • Bing Used Aug 28, 2007

    - I don't go to that part of town, so, no I have not seen the empty houses with homeless people living in them. (so they are not really empty, huh?) I live in the country and have running water, electricity and internet...be it dial up. Oh, I don't live in Rocky Mt. either.

  • Notinitforthemoney Aug 28, 2007

    I Wonder , I dont know maybe the fine parts of rocky mount that are in Edgecombe County... Clark St. Branch St, Pender St. Buena Vista Ave, Redgate, Cokey Road, maybe you have seen alot of these empty houses with homeless people living in them.

  • bluebird1075 Aug 28, 2007

    I live on the reservoir and I agree with "gottasay". This is the perfect opportunity for the city to dredge the river so we will have more water once we get some much needed rain. September is notorious in this area for a hurricane. I hope it doesn't take one to fill the reservoir back up. I plan to do some cleaning around our pier while the waters down. It's a sad sight right now. I am videoing it so I can look back on this when the reservoir is full and everyone is having so much fun on it. We'll learn to appreciate one of life's neccesities!

  • Angel in disgusie Aug 28, 2007

    You know, PEOPLE, God is in charge of the water/weather and unfortunately, ignorant people too!

  • Aconcernedhuman Aug 28, 2007

    LOL @ batcave. Just think if tobacco plants die than how many people would die because they can't smoke LOL Yes I'm a smoker

  • spazman Aug 28, 2007

    If the sun keeps up and the water keeps down,MAYBE Rocky Mount will dry up and blow away.Then we can build a NICE city

  • Bing Used Aug 28, 2007

    "I would say more of the problem is in Nash county because from the looks of it not too many people in Edgecombe have running water."
    *Notinitforthemoney* That is sooo funny! *NOT!* where have you been in Edgecombe co. to make that assumption?