Fast-moving Hurricane Michael did substantial damage to Georgia vegetable fall crops, but it is too soon to say how much was lost.
After making landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on Florida’s Panhandle near Mexico Beach, Fla., Oct. 10, Michael later weakened to a tropical storm and swept at an angle across Georgia and into the Carolinas. The storm killed at least six people and caused heavy flooding and property loss near its landfall.
Michael moved out of Georgia about 8 a.m. the morning of Oct. 11, Charles Hall, executive director of the Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association.
After entering Georgia from the Florida Panhandle, the storm tracked across Georgia at a northeast bearing, moving from Bainbridge to Cordele and then Warner Robins, Ga., Hall said.
“From our perspective, wind was the big issue,’ Hall said, noting some growing regions saw 75-mph winds and suffered heavy crop loss.
Near the path of the storm, cucumber, green bean and squash plants were broken by the wind.
Many of Georgia’s vegetable growers also grow cotton, he said, and cotton was devastated by the storm, he said. Heavy damage to Georgia’s pecan crop also is expected, he said.
Some growers were without power and refrigeration Oct. 11, he said.
A good portion of Georgia’s vegetable growing areas were south of the storm’s path.
In Lake Park, Ga., growers reported storm damage to bell peppers grown there was not as severe as farther north, Hall said.