“Multiple rivers were at or headed toward record levels. Because the ground was already saturated from rain, Ian’s downpours had an even greater effect, said Rick Davis, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Tampa Bay office.”
Bloomberg writers Augusta Saraiva and Brendan Murray reported yesterday that, “Major ports and rail facilities across the US Southeast have halted operations as one of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit the country heads north, causing disruptions along the way and resulting in another blow for already-strained supply chains.”
Also yesterday, Reuters writer Marcelo Teixeira reported that, “Hurricane Ian is likely to have worsened what was already expected to be the smallest U.S. orange crop in 55 years after it blasted through a large fruit producing area when it passed through Florida this week, flooding farms and causing oranges to drop from trees.”
“Although imports from Brazil and Mexico currently make up for most of the orange juice consumed in the United States, Florida’s production was important to the industry since it is mostly the not from concentrate (NFC) variety, which has gained popularity among consumers compared to the older style, frozen concentrated orange juice (FCOJ),” the Reuters article said.
Ongoing major to record river flooding will continue through next week across portions of central Florida, with considerable flooding expected in eastern North Carolina / South Carolina today through the end of the week. https://t.co/OwIcRuYurQ pic.twitter.com/wkzhfTPOUF— National Water Center (@nwsnwc) September 29, 2022
And Kirk Maltais reported yesterday at The Wall Street Journal Online that, “Significant flooding and wind damage has rocked Florida orange groves, where the crop was already shaping up to be the smallest since World War II.”
Maltais explained that, “The storm passed through key citrus-growing areas when it made landfall in Florida on Wednesday, with maximum sustained winds reaching 150 miles per hour.
“The timing is poor for orange growers, with harvest season beginning in October and picking up steam in the following months.”
Bloomberg writers Tatiana Freitas and Diego Lasarte reported yesterday that, “Ian threatens to deal a catastrophic blow to Florida orange growers already reeling from a disease called citrus greening, which damages fruit and eventually kills trees. The storm’s destruction is the latest boost to orange prices that have soared 36% this year on tight global supplies, intensifying consumers’ pain amid rampant food inflation.
“While Ian’s winds have certainly knocked fruit to the ground, tree damage is the biggest concern, according to Jon Davis, chief meteorologist at Everstream Analytics. Once trees are damaged, production can be hurt for years, he said. Florida was already set fall behind California as the largest orange-producing state.”
Meanwhile, Reuters writer Tom Polansek reported yesterday that, “Farmers in Florida rushed to reach their cattle on Thursday after trees downed by Hurricane Ian broke fences used to contain the animals and rain from the fierce storm flooded fields used for grazing.”
“The hurricane washed out roads, hampering farmers’ attempts to corral cattle before they escape fenced areas in a potential threat to public safety,” the article said.
And New York Times writer Winston Choi-Schagrin reported yesterday that, “As of Thursday afternoon, excess water from Hurricane Ian had prompted at least a dozen wastewater treatment facilities in Florida to discharge either raw or partially treated waste, which can contain bacteria or other disease-causing organisms as well as high levels of nitrogen and phosphates, according to the state’s Department of Environmental Protection.
“Now, as the storm heads toward South Carolina, attention is turning to sites there that might be at risk…[and]…further inland, the state is home to hundreds of farms, including poultry operations and other types.”
The article noted that, “Blakely Hildebrand, a senior attorney at the [Southern Environmental Law Center], expressed concerns that high rainfall could cause poultry manure, which is often kept in uncovered pits, to run into waterways.”