Hurricane Florence is barreling towards the Carolinas and Virginia and the category four storm (as of Monday afternoon) could do plenty of damage to the region’s farms, according to weather forecasters, government officials and farm groups.
“A storm of that magnitude would be the strongest storm to hit that part of the country in almost 30 years …” said USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey, who is predicting Florence will make landfall late Thursday or Friday.
Florence is expected bring winds of up to 140 miles and hour and that’s reason for extreme concern, says National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) spokesman Dave Warner. North Carolina is the second largest pork-producing state in the country and most of the farms are in the low-lying eastern part of the state.
NPPC is so worried, the group cut short its annual Washington fly-in for members and cancelled a Thursday round table meeting with reporters so farmers can leave town by Wednesday, before the storm makes landfall.
In a worst-case scenario Florence could stall and remain in place inland for three to five days, causing “catastrophic” floods along with wind damage, USDA’s Rippey said.
President Donald Trump weighed in with a tweet, saying: “To the incredible citizens of North Carolina, South Carolina and the entire East Coast – the storm looks very bad! Please take all necessary precautions. We have already began mobilizing our assets to respond accordingly, and we are here for you!”
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