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Business dries up for water truckers

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A month of steady rain has led to happy farmers and busy landscapers, but business has dried up for the Island's water truckers.

The Bermuda Weather Service recorded 10.43 inches of rain in August — almost five inches more than average — and another 1.76 inches of rain has already been recorded this month.

Michael Mello of Access Water said he received a total of four orders for water in August.

“When it first started raining, I thought it was good,” Mr Mello said. “People need free water because right now everyone is strapped. And then it just kept raining.

“I just started in January and I'm still trying to build up my customer base, but from what I've seen it's been slow for most of us.”

He said he has been receiving some help from other trucking companies, but over the last month there have been times when there simply hasn't been enough work to go around.

“Us guys are hurting right now,” he said. “My truck has basically been sitting up for the last six weeks. It's the worst I have seen in August. It's been hard. It's really been hard.”

Raphael Simons of Triton Water Services estimated that their water deliveries had fallen by as much as 70 percent compared to last year.

“It's been wet, wet, wet,” he said. “The good thing for us is while we are down in water deliveries, we have a few add-on jobs that have helped us. It has helped to support us, but with water deliveries being the primary focus, it hasn't been that good. I would like it to be better, but that's just the nature of the business.”

Farad Furqan of Wett and Wild Water Service agreed that the rainy weather has caused the number of water orders to fall, but said business has been bolstered by customers looking to have their water tanks cleaned.

“I think it's a good thing because with the rain coming, I have had time to rest and repair stuff that had to be dealt with,” he said. “It's not all bad, and the rain is certainly good on the home front.”

While the rain has led to less work for water truckers, landscapers have found their hands full. Collingwood Bean of CB's Tree and Grass Cutting said the steady rain has caused rapid plant growth across the Island.

“It's had a big effect. Everything has grown so quickly,” Mr Bean said. “It's almost like the good lord has sent down Miracle Grow with the rain.

“I cut my grass yesterday, and I came out this morning and I could see the growth.

“I hear people complaining that Works and Engineering are not cutting stuff, but I feel for them. It's unbelievable. It's incredible how everything is growing so quickly.”

He said the rain has caused some challenges for his business because of the increased workload.

“I'm spending more time on jobs where before I could get in and get out,” he said. “For a small guy like myself, it's more or less just taking me longer.”

Farmers were meanwhile celebrating the rain. Carlos Amaral said the wet weather, combined with the lack of tropical storms, has led to an exceptional banana crop.

“Early plantings of carrots have done quite well, and some growers are already transplanting fall cole crops,” Mr Amaral said. “[We're] just keeping our fingers crossed that we don't get hit with a late hurricane.”

And Tom Wadson said: “It's been good. Very good. It all helps right now, it really does. It's been especially good for my sweet potatoes.”

The weather is expected to remain wet for the next few days, with the remnants of Tropical Storm Gabrielle forecast to pass over the Island tomorrow.

Rained out: Water truckers saw business down dramatically in a wet August
Farmer Carlos Amaral: Wet weather has provided a boost for agriculture in Bermuda

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Published September 09, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated September 08, 2013 at 11:27 pm)

Business dries up for water truckers

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