Busy hurricane season impacting Virginia Beach businesses

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY/AP) – While Virginia Beach has not been directly hit by any hurricanes this season, businesses are still feeling effects from the storms.

Hurricane Jose is set to move past Virginia and North Carolina, toward southern New England. Swells generated by Jose have been felt up and down the East Coast. These swells are likely to cause dangerous surf and rip current conditions over the next week.

Red flags were posted at the Oceanfront and in Sandbridge throughout the weekend. The dangerous water conditions have kept some fishing and tour boats at the dock.

Rudee Tours had to cancel trips because of the effects from Jose. Monday is an off-day — so boats wouldn’t be going out anyway — but they had to make the call not to take people out on tours for Sunday and Tuesday.

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The company provides fishing trips, sightseeing, and dolphin tours. They are typically busy this time of year, but the threat of Irma and the outer edges of Jose have kept some of the boats in their slips.

“It’s been a tough end of the year. The hurricanes have definitely taken an effect on us. This one, even though we’re not getting it, it’s laying offshore and it’s creating a lot of wind,” says Rudee Tours Captain Skip Feller.

Feller says even taking one day off can mean a loss of up to $20,000 in revenue. He is watching the weather closely, hoping conditions improve to make up for time and money lost in an active hurricane season.

“We watch them and we dread this time of the year. We just keep our fingers crossed that we’re not going to get but so many, but with Maria coming, we’re really crossing our fingers,” he says.

Rudee Inlet Parasail, which also rents out jet skis, had to close Monday and Tuesday because of the weather. An employee there says the closures will cost them thousands in revenue.

Around 16th Street, only a few families were seen on the sand. Bobby and Jill Jordan took advantage of the fierce wind gusts by kiting.

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“It’s fun to be out here with the ocean breeze and strong winds from the hurricane,” Bobby says. “And flying the kite, which is a little crazy today.”

They purchased their kite from Kitty Hawk Kites in Virginia Beach, which is seeing a spike in kite sales. Manager Jeri Hughes tells 10 On Your Side that they saw a 48 percent increase in kite sales last week, but “overall” sales have been down.

“We aren’t seeing the traffic we usually see,” Hughes says.

At least one dozen people were fishing on Monday afternoon, although one fisherman told 10 On Your Side the waters were “too rough.”