North Carolina farmland damage assessed following Hermine

COLUMBIA, N.C. (WNCT) – The effects of Tropical Storm Hermine are still lingering in parts of Eastern North Carolina.

The storm brought more damage to the crops than what was expected. Millions of dollars in crops are gone.

The farmland in Tyrrell County makes up nearly 65,000 acres.

Counties like Tyrrell received up to 14 inches of rain over the past few days following Hermine.

In the aftermath, 15 percent of the crops were destroyed.

“A lot of soybeans and cotton in the area that’s totally under water today, hopefully by the end of the week we may have the water off of some of it. But just the U.S. Fish and Wildlife land keeping their water as high as they did, it made all the flooding that much worse,” said Tyrrell County farmer Jeff Sparks.

Sparks said there are serious long term effects, “It’s just going to get worse over time. We’re going to have to continue to raise our dike to hold their water. And their water is just going to continue to get higher, til one day it just all fails and then it’s just going to be one big mess.”

Most of the damage is due to standing water, and excess water flowing into the farmlands crops.

Sunday Governor Pat McCrory visited the most affected areas to talk with farmers who say something must be done with their drainage system.

“We need better cooperation from the federal government regarding some of their more extreme environmental policies,” said McCrory. “[It] is causing damage to the North Carolina farmers and that’s inexcusable, especially when they know a storm is coming.”

He touched on how the federal government is trying to turn the farmland into swamps by being un-attentive.

“They want to pour all the water on this land which is about two feet lower and make it into swamp land and that means we aren’t going to be feeding a lot of people in this world,” said McCrory

He added after the damage is evaluated, he’ll look into emergency funds that would help the farmers with loans.

Farmers said they can’t measure the exact amount of damage until all of the water has subsided but any crops on the ground or blown away can’t be used.


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