Hurricane Irene leaves a mark, but most crops survive

09/01/2011 07:48:00 AM
Doug Ohlmeier

George Wooten, president of Wayne E. Bailey Produce Co., Chadbourn, N.C., said North Carolina’s fall sweet potato region should suffer no more than 10% in damage from 2-3 inches of rain.

Northeast fruit also appears to have escaped significant damage.

Michael Blume, a salesman with Keystone Fruit Marketing Inc., Greencastle, Pa., said Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey didn’t sustain major damage but said sales slowed as power outages affected trips to grocery stores.

Though the saturated soil toppled trees, Peter Gregg, communications spokesman for the New York Apple Association, Fishers, said the Empire State’s apples fared well and didn’t receive significant damage into its first weeks of harvesting.

The new Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market building held up well through the storm but a modification of weekend operating hours produced a long line of trucks entering the market the day after the storm, said Tad Thompson, business development manager.

Hurricane Irene, which was downgraded to a tropical storm as it approached New York on Aug. 28, also didn’t harm the Hunts Point Terminal Market.

However, market co-chairman Matthew D’Arrigo, vice president of D’Arrigo Bros. Co. of New York Inc., said widespread flooding and road closures disrupted employee and customer travel to the Bronx facility. He said suburban regions, including parts of Queens and Long Island, and inland areas such as Westchester County, Conn., and New Jersey, endured extensive flooding.


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