State Officials Release Initial Damage Assessment Following Hurricane Florence
The Office of the Governor has released its preliminary damage assessment following Hurricane Florence that hit South and North Carolina late last week. The South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) along with the state Disaster Recovery Office (SCDRO), have provided preliminary financial impact and federal recovery fund estimates in anticipation of actual on-the-ground damage assessments.
The total initial damage from Hurricane Florence is estimated at $1.228 billion. Farmers expect to sustain a $125 million direct loss. Early estimates indicate a significant loss of the cotton crop and moderate loss of soybeans and peanuts. High-value fall fruits and vegetables will also be impacted. Livestock losses are still being assessed but are expected to be substantial. Access to many farms remains limited due to flooding.
“Farmers in South Carolina are no strangers to hurricanes, flooding and natural disasters, especially after what we’ve experienced in the last few years,” said SCFB President Harry Ott. “Hurricane Florence significantly impacted the Pee Dee region where the majority of our state’s crops are grown. We are working with our farmers and officials to get everyone back on their feet as quickly as possible.”
Governor McMaster has asked President Trump to authorize federal individual assistance for 23 South Carolina counties through FEMA. They are: Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Chester, Chesterfield, Clarendon, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Fairfield, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lee, Marion, Marlboro, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter, Williamsburg, and York counties.
Farmers are encouraged to complete Clemson’s online damage assessment form to aid officials in determining the full impact of the hurricane. The form is available online at: clemson.edu/public/emergency.