Flow of whitewater rafters slows as drought affects Chattahoochee River

Columbus Riverwalk (WRBL)

COLUMBUS, Ga — The ongoing drought in Georgia hit hard on the whitewater rafting business along the Chattahoochee River.

Whitewater Express owner Dan Gilbert says when the Chattahoochee River water flow slowed under drought-like conditions this summer, so did the rafting business.

“Our numbers were way up in March, April, May and early June,” Gilbert says. “But then the drought hit us hard.”

Gilbert says several times this summer, high-water rafting trips had to be canceled because “because we did not have the water.”

News 3’s media partner The Ledger-Enquirer reports the 2.5-mile urban whitewater course is managed by Uptown Whitewater Management LLC. Uptown Whitewater president Richard Bishop says it was a difficult season, but also a learning experience.

Bishop says the group is studying where rafters came from this summer, and it appears they saw more visitors from other parts of Georgia – particularly the Atlanta area – but fewer visitors from Alabama and Florida.

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