Hurricane Sandy expected to spare south Florida crops

10/26/2012 10:44:00 AM
Doug Ohlemeier

As it moves up along the East Coast, Hurricane Sandy’s rains aren’t expected to cause much damage to south Florida tropicals.

Hurricane SandyNOAAHurricane Sandy isn't expected to damage Florida crops as it moves up the East Coast.The storm’s winds, however, could harm the region’s green beans and squash, grower-shippers say.

Charles Porter, salesman for Homestead, Fla.-based Five Bros. Produce Inc., said he doesn’t think the rains, which struck Oct. 25-26, will cause any damage to Five Bros.’ beans and squash.

“We are definitely getting more wind and have had some gusts of 50-60 mph,” he said Oct. 26. “We’re waiting to see how bad it’s going to be.”

Porter said the broadleaf beans and squash remain sensitive to wind but said he wouldn’t likely know of any damage until the weekend, after the slow-moving storm clears.

Five Bros. began harvesting beans Oct. 26 and plans to start its fall squash soon.

On Oct. 25, Sandy weakened to a Category I storm and forecasters the say it could decline to a tropical storm.

After the “Frankenstorm” is expected to make landfall on Oct. 30 in the Delmarva region, forecasters say it could menace the Northeast.

Mary Ostlund, director of marketing for Brooks Tropicals LLC, Homestead, said she doesn’t foresee the storm causing any damage to south Florida avocados and tropicals.

“The wind has been nominal,” she said Oct. 26. “We are getting the rain bands. The rain is a problem because it’s added more to the already saturated soil. Other than that, we don’t think we will have any damage.”

The storm is blamed for killing up to 21 people in Haiti, Jamaica and Cuba.



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