Hermine damage more than expected

Published 6:18 pm Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The long-term effects of Tropical Storm Hermine are piling up in parts of eastern North Carolina.

“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,” Tyrrell County farmer Jeff Sparks reportedly said. “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.”

Sparks sees 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, till one day it just all fails and then it’s just going to be one big mess.”

Most of the damage was caused by standing water and excess water flowing onto cropland, preventing plant roots from breathing.

“We need better cooperation from the federal government regarding some of their more extreme environmental policies,” said Governor Pat McCrory while touring Tyrrell County Sept. 4. “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 inattentive.

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

Damage assessments must wait until all the water has subsided, but farmers said any crops on the ground or blown away are a total loss.