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Farmers preparing for Hurricane Florence

Farmers preparing for Hurricane Florence

Weather forecasters expected to hit the Carolinas between Thursday and the weekend

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

Producers in the path of a hurricane are doing all they can to prepare for the storm.

Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall on the Carolinas between Thursday and Saturday, weather forecasters say. The storm, which recently scaled down from a Category 4 to a Category 3, could bring sustained winds of about 125 mph and pounding rain for days.

Nearly 1.7 million people across the Carolinas and Virginia are under evacuation orders. Several states including Maryland, Georgia, and Washington D.C., declared a state of emergency.

But leaving isn’t an option for some farmers, so they’re doing everything they can to wait out the storm.

“I’m working on putting stuff away, so it doesn’t blow away during the storm, and fixing up a generator because I expect we’ll be without power for a few days” Alex Jordan, president of the Corn Growers Association of North Carolina, told Farms.com today. “All I can do is try to do everything I can to protect my family.

“We’ll have to see what the storm brings and reassess the situation afterwards.”

Some farmers are trying to harvest as much of their crops as they can.

“The name of the game is getting the crop in,” Phillip McLain, a cash crop producer from Statesville, N.C., told Statesville.com yesterday.

Livestock producers are also trying to protect their animals ahead of Florence’s arrival.

“We’ve been running as hard as we can go,” Bo Stone, a swine producer from Rowland, N.C., told Reuters yesterday. “

Relocating animals is difficult because “nobody would have the capacity to handle your animals,” he said.

The USDA stands ready to assist farmers after the storm.

“As hurricanes approach, we have USDA personnel in counties throughout the nation, standing by to assist in any way possible,” Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a statement today.

View of Hurricane Florence from space
Ricky Arnold/Twitter photo