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Prolonged rain expected to impact many Austin businesses

With it looking like Central Texas is about to get rain going into next week, there are a lot of businesses that are preparing for how that will impact their work.

AUSTIN, Texas — The rain has already started to come down around Central Texas, and it is expected to be here day after day, going into next week. While it's simply a nuisance for some, it is impacting business for many in the area.

There are a lot of ways you can spruce up your car at Arbor Car Wash. David Swenson is the owner and said they offer car wash, detail and lube. He also said running a car wash business is running a weather-related business.

"We are really pushed by the weather," Swenson said. "The perception of rain coming is just unbelievable."

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Not only does rain hurt Swenson's business, he said simply projected rain keeps many drivers away.

"With 160 employees out there, it's really, really difficult to keep them busy and keep them working," Swenson said, talking about when there is rain in the forecast. "We've got plenty of odd jobs going around here, and we're just hoping that changes before we get to that fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth day of rain."

Lawn care companies have the same type of issues. Brian Kelly is the operations manager for the pest division at ABC Home & Commercial Services. He said his team tries to adjust to weather.

"We work around the rainfalls," Kelly said. "During the summer months, we have all the outside insects that are coming in. You have ants, roaches, silverfish -- things that come from the outside."

When rain comes down day after day during a long stretch, it makes scheduling difficult for appointments.

"The quick rain doesn't bother us too much," Kelly said. "We can wait it out. We can apply before or after. However, if we start juggling half of your day and then the next day the same thing and then the next day, it starts to topple and then we get behind."

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Kelly said his team members can't work on lawns when it's raining because their products could then runoff into places they shouldn't be.

"If the rain is pouring down, it's really heavy and moves that product into storm drains or way into some other yard, it's gone off of that targeted treatment area," Kelly said. "With any type of lawn care, pesticide or fertilization, we just can't put stuff out while it's raining."

Kelly did say, though, once all the rain goes away, that's when it's time for ABC to get to work, as bugs and insects start to get into front lawns and into homes.

"As rain can hinder a lot of our treatments day to day, in the end, it is good for our business," Kelly said.

Diann Hodges is the spokesperson for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) in the Austin area. She said this upcoming rain impacts it as well.

"Most of our projects -- all of our projects -- are outdoors," Hodges said. "We build roads. That's what we do."

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Hodges said TxDOT will sometimes have to pull its crews when the rain gets really bad.

"When we have inclement weather, it absolutely can affect our projects," Hodges said. "Safety is number one at TxDOT and that follows through to our contractors as well."

TxDOT does schedule days for rain when projecting completion dates.

"Whenever we set a deadline for a project, a completion date, we always say it's weather-permitting," Hodges said.


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