What is in this article?:
- North Carolina farm damage assessments begin
- Indirect damage a real problem
• One grower reported losing 100 of 120 tobacco barns.
• One large turf producer lost 22 greenhouses — just gone, he says, debris likely miles away.
• Farm equipment barns, chicken houses, tin-roofed farm structures of many kinds and grain storage silos were particularly vulnerable to the storms.
The tornadoes that ripped a 150 mile long path of destruction through North Carolina on April 16, left many wheat farmers wondering whether they will be able to harvest this years crop.
After a couple of weather-related disasters with winter wheat, North Carolina growers were looking for a good year, with a big crop that looked right on target only a few days before disaster struck.
What a difference a few days makes! The wheat crop still looks good, but getting it out of the field is going to be a monumental challenge in counties hardest hit by the storm system.
Damage to wheat from the big storm system that killed 21 people across North Carolina appears to be minor. Some fields in the direct path of tornadoes or hail that accompanied the storm were damaged or destroyed, but overall there was not widespread damage to the crop, which was a month or so from harvest ready when the tornadoes struck.
Though Raleigh and other North Carolina cities and towns were severely damaged by the storm system, the deadliest and most severe storms passed across rural areas. Damage in these areas from high straight-line winds, in addition to tornadic winds that topped 100 miles per hour, was widespread across a 12-14 county area that is the heart of North Carolina row crop production.