Tropical Storm Debby brings heavy rains to Florida, Georgia

06/26/2012 11:31:00 AM
Doug Ohlemeier

As Tropical Storm Debby approaches landfall in northern Florida, the storm is bringing heavy rains to Florida and Georgia production regions.

The early season storm is churning off the coast of the Florida panhandle and expected to make landfall in Florida’s Gulf Coast Big Bend region June 27.

Bands of rain drenched central and southern Florida, causing flooding.

Forecasters predict the eye of the slow-moving storm to move across Florida on its way to the Atlantic Ocean, dumping torrential rains on Florida and Georgia.

Charles Hall, executive director of the La Grange-based Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association, said he hasn’t heard of any damage.

“It’s not helping blueberry harvesting but most of the other harvesting is pretty much over with,” Hall said June 26. “We still have a few vegetables and watermelon in the field but not a lot. Any crops being harvested at this point would be a concern. Between the rain and wind, if we get wind, there could be some problems from that standpoint.”

Dug Schwalls, salesman for Southern Valley Fruit & Vegetable Inc., Norman Park, Ga., said southern Georgia was receiving heavy rains.

He says Southern Valley expects to finish its cucumber and bell pepper harvesting in early July.

“It’s (the storm) just keeping us out of the field now,” he said June 26. “The things it would mostly affect are crops we are done with, like squash. We haven’t seen any quality issues on the cucumbers because of the storm.”

Forecasters predict 45 m.p.h. wind speeds and warn of continued heavy rain and tornado threats.



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