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Despite excessive rains, county rafting industry has good year

Published: 8:54 AM, 12/19/2013 Last updated: 8:55 AM, 12/19/2013

Author: Rick Hooper

NEWPORT— Cocke County’s final rafting numbers for 2013 showed a decline of about 11,527 people, according to figures provided this week by Cocke County Clerk Janice ButlerFor the year, 165,873 people rafted down the Pigeon River, compared to 177,400 in 2012. Even with the decline, however, Butler points out it was third best year ever for rafting in the county.“The weather was certainly responsible for it,” said Butler. “We just had so much rain during the year and then it was cold during the spring and in November. But, it was still a good year.”Much of East Tennessee is more than 20 inches above normal on rainfall for the year, according to figures from the National Weather Service.Cocke County receives a $2 fee for each rafter on the river, which this year will provide approximately $331,746, about $23,054 less than in 2012.For more details, please see the Thursday edition of the Newport Plain Talk.

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