Heavy rains in Pierce County put a damper on local businesses

Potentially record-breaking rain at a time when the weather is expected to be sunnier is weighing on some businesses that rely on foot traffic.

RUSTON, Wash. – Bert Dollente has been in the restaurant business for over a decade, and having a location on Ruston Way is a big step for his company. Dollente’s Ruston location for Kamaaina Grill is on the waterfront.

“We’re blessed man, I can’t ask for anything better,” Dollente said.

But after heavy rains, business has slowed to a crawl.

“You might as well stay at home and play with your thumbs, man,” Dollente laughed. “It’s that bad sometimes. Thank goodness we have delivery options, that helps a bit but I prefer a much better weather.”

According to the National Weather Service, forecasts predict Thursday’s rains will set an all-day record.

So much rain at a time when days should be sunnier and drier has once again left many businesses that rely on foot traffic on their heels and struggling to stay open.

Paul Kunitsa has been General Manager of Waterfront Market in Ruston for almost a year and says it’s a familiar feeling.

“It was difficult. I mean, that’s not even the right word for it,” Kunitsa said. “It’s been terribly difficult for companies to stay afloat and operate at full capacity.”

While rain is expected in the northwest, Kunitsa says it’s unusual to see so much so late in the season.

“As you go into May you start to get good weather and to be honest we just haven’t seen that this year,” Kunitsa said. “Especially in June we don’t really see that much rain in June. I mean not as far as I can remember. It’s really different.”

But after two years “different,” Kunitsa hopes small business owners can keep moving forward as sunny days come.

“People are putting their blood, sweat and tears into this stuff and it’s important to stay positive and understand that your hard work means something, these products matter and once all this stuff is gone and better weather.” comes, it will come off the shelves,” he said. Heavy rains in Pierce County put a damper on local businesses

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