Northeast Farmers Brace for Hurricane

Farmers across the Northeast are bracing for Hurricane Sandy, a tropical storm that is likely to make landfall along the mid-Atlantic sometime next week. For farmers still recovering from the damage of Hurricane Irene, this presents a significant hardship (particularly for farmers who have lost access to federal funding due to the expiration of the farm bill).

Hurricane Sandy, a late tropical storm, has already caused considerable damage across the Caribbean, leaving more than 21 dead in Haiti, Jamaica, and Cuba as of this morning. While the hurricane appears to have weakened to a Category 1 storm, weather watchers are warning the Northeast that it will likely merge with an existing storm front in the region and could regain much of its intensity next week.

For farmers across the mid-Atlantic this is particularly unwelcome news. Many are still recovering from the devastating effects of Hurricane Irene, which flooded crops and severely damaged farm infrastructure. In states like Vermont, for example, many farmers, even a year out, are still repairing fields that were flooded.

Farm organizations are warning farmers to take immediate precautions. Crops still in the field should be harvested as quickly as possible to avoid potential damage. In addition, farmers who require access to water and power (those operating greenhouses, for example) are advised to prepare for ongoing outages.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer