How is the Flint River sewage spill impacting downtown Albany?

Josh Lorber says he isn't taking his business to downtown Albany because of the sewage spill. (Source: WALB)
Josh Lorber says he isn't taking his business to downtown Albany because of the sewage spill. (Source: WALB)
Kayak Adventures isn't opening their store in the downtown area. (Source: WALB)
Kayak Adventures isn't opening their store in the downtown area. (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Last month's sewage spill in the Flint River has left the city of Albany with more than just a bad smell.

The city has actually lost a business because of the spill.

"It's a shame. I think we went a week or two ago, and you could not stand the smell out there on the dock," said Lee County Resident Richard Porter.

Porter isn't the only one who has been avoiding the Flint River after the sewage spill last month.

"It was pretty much impossible to run a kayak business on any body of water, no one wants to get in," explained Josh Lorber, the owner of Kayak Attack.

That's why Kayak Attack will no longer be opening a store in downtown Albany.

A pump failure caused 90 gallons of sewage to spill into the Flint last month, now the downtown economy is taking a hit as well.

"Whenever one of your bodies of water that you rent on gets affected like that, then you have to convince everyone to switch their normal routine of going on the Flint to come over on the Kinchafoonee," said Lorber.

Kayak Attack had signed a lease on a downtown location. The plan was to open a store location so they could sell t-shirts, gear and smoothies, but that store won't be opening now.

"The sewage spill definitely helped, you know, kind of in the end, finalized that we really needed to back out because we waited almost two months after we could have backed out our lease, hoping it would get rectified," Lorber said.

Kayak Attack is doing all of its business at the Kinchafoonee now.

Lorber said they would love to open the store downtown one day, but it may just stay a dream of his for a little while longer.

"Its hard to shake the public persuasion of it just being the nasty, sewage river," said Lorber.

As for Porter, he hopes the waste problem is fixed soon.

"There were guests there from out of town while we were down there, complaining about it. And to be honest with you, it was kind of embarrassing," said Porter.

City representatives said earlier that they are disappointed to see Kayak Attack go, but they are still hopeful about bringing new business to the downtown area.

They also said construction to fix the pumps in the Flint has been underway.

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