ne of the wettest Junes on record hurt the bottom line for one of the more popular summer events in the county and dampened activities at area pools.
Late-spring and early-summer showers left behind 6.58 inches of rain during the month, according to the Brownstown Central High School weather station.
That’s not as much rain as the State Climate Office says fell, on average, across the state during the month. According to that office, the average June rainfall of 9.03 inches set a record for the month and is the fourth-wettest of any month on record since 1895.
Untimely showers and thunderstorms forced the cancellation of most of the 40th annual Grassy Fork Volunteer Fire Department Tractor and Truck Pull and Fish Fry, which was scheduled for June 18 to 20.
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The fire department has never had to cancel a pull before, although rain has led to an early finish on at least one occasion, fire department member Richard Hackman said.
The annual pull helps the department pay operating costs and purchase equipment, Hackman said. Although there is no admission cost, the fire department sells a lot of fish sandwiches during the three-day event.
This year, organizers were able to conduct the kids pedal tractor pull on Thursday night by moving it indoors, but all pulling activity the next two nights was canceled.
Firefighters still showed up to fry fish, however, and those efforts paid off.
People came, bought plenty of fish, sat around and talked for a while and left, Hackman said.
“It was better than what I really expected,” he added.
Department officials are looking at trying to have another pull later this year as a way to make up for some of the shortfall in revenue, Hackman said.
The county’s two public pools also have reported lower attendance this year since opening in early June.
The Shields Park Pool in Seymour saw a decline of just more than 5 percent in attendance in June of this year compared with 2014. The number of people paying $3 for an afternoon session or $2 for an evening session in June was 11,966, compared with 12,579 people a year ago.
June of both years, however, were cooler and rainier than 2013, when 14,005 people or 17 percent more visited the pool during that month, said Chris Boggs, who manages the pool with her husband, Dave.
The highest daily attendance this year was 900 on June 21, and there were 700 people one other time this season, she said.
Chris Boggs said the pool has had to close several times this year because of cool temperatures, rain and storms.
“We’ve had a hard time keeping the temperature up,” she said of the pool water. “It’s only been above 80 a few days, and the highest it has been is 84. That was for two days.”
She said there have been only a few years when the pool has had to be closed a couple of times during the 10-week season because of weather.
Even if there’s not a crowd, the pool has to keep a minimum of eight lifeguards on hand to watch over the 500,000-gallon main pool, she said. That’s why the pool closes as soon as students return to school in early August.
“It’s hard to find lifeguards,” Chris Boggs said.
Jamie Temple, who manages the Brownstown pool, said attendance has been way down, and the pool has closed early a couple of times because of poor weather.
“We’ll probably close early today,” Temple said as rain fell Tuesday. She pointed to a single day to show how bad things have been this year.
“On June 1, we made nothing,” she said. “A year ago on June 1, we made $275.”
The rain also has messed up the chemicals pool workers use to treat the pool, Temple added.
“It’s been hard to keep it straight,” she said.
And like Seymour, the temperature of the pool has been hard to keep up too.
“Ours has been between 80 and 82,” Temple said of the water temperature. “That’s a little colder than normal.”
The temperature in the smaller pool, which houses the slide and kids area, hasn’t risen above 80, and that’s what draws the most people to the Brownstown pool, Temple said.
If the kids can’t have fun, people won’t come out, she added.
There are only about four weeks left in this year’s season, leaving little time to turn things around, Temple said.
“Our attendance goes down after the fair,” she said.
This year’s fair ends on Aug. 1 and school begins 10 days later. Seymour Community Schools begins the new school year Aug. 10.
There is a free movie night planned for 9:30 p.m. July 18 at the Brownstown pool. “The Lion King” will be shown.
The State Climate Office at Purdue University in West Lafayette says the amount of rainfall this year surpassed the previous June record of 8.13 inches set in 1958.
Nearly all parts of the state have received above-normal rainfall of just more than 4 inches, the office reported.
Heaviest totals generally were in a band stretching from Newton County to Adams County across northern Indiana. A rainfall monitoring station at Rensselaer in Jasper County recorded the most rain at 18.06 inches. Two locations in Newton County had more than 17 inches.
The office reports some areas of Indiana have received more than 4 inches of rain on seven separate days.
About 2 inches of rain fell in the Brownstown area in the days leading up to the tractor and truck pull.