Rain causes a slow start for Danville boat rental's opening day

Kayakers out on the Dan River before thunderstorms cut their fun short. (WSET)

DANVILLE, Va. (WSET) -- It's paddling season, and many on the Southside have been out enjoying the warm weather.

The first day of kayak and canoe rentals at Abreu-Grogan Park in Danville was slowed by thunderstorms. However, that didn't stop everyone from coming to the river Saturday.

"As long as there's no lightning, I just keep going," Janet Phillips, a Danville resident, said.

Paddlers hit the Dan River to enjoy the warm afternoon. Rain was in the distance, but they weren't deterred.

"You risk getting wet when you go in a boat on the water," Phillips said. "Just plan to get wet and if it rains on you, so what?"

"The Weather Channel is really good, keeps up with it, so we knew by 1 o'clock, we better be out of the water," Bob Phillips, another Danville resident, said.

Saturday happened to be the first day Abreu-Grogan Park was renting out kayaks and canoes. Unfortunately, heavy rain showers closed down the boat rental house.

"When we get lightning and thunder in the area we usually tend to shut things down," Kyle Autrey, Danville Outdoor Program Coordinator, said. "When we get lightning it's not safe to be out in the water."

For Bob Phillips, there's only one thing that will get him off the water is a thunderstorm.

The bad weather may impact the amount of renters during the holiday weekend.

"I'd say between 25 and 30 is our normal number," Autrey said. "Now, how the weather impacts that, I'm not sure."

Autrey said they may be doing something special for paddlers next week, since the Memorial Day opening was so short.

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