Farmers hit hard by hurricane

BY DNN | SOUTHEASTERN GA | October 2, 1998


SOUTHEASTERN GA (Oct. 2, 1998) -- With Hurricane Georges finally gone,

farmers across the south

hope their fields will dry out in time to save their peanut and cotton

crops.

Farmers throughout the region, suffered from an unusually dry summer and

while many welcome the needed rain, it came at the wrong time -- right in

the midst of harvest.

"We need to get some sunshine in here so the farmers can get back out in

their fields," said Emory Murphy, assistant executive director of the

Georgia Peanut Commission.

Less than a quarter of the peanut harvest has been completed. Farmers

need the sun to reappear to dry out the crop before it can be separated

from the vine.

Agriculture officials are also concerned about the cotton and pecan

crops. It isn't the rain as much as wind that may have impacted these

farms. Many farmers who lost trees when Hurricane Earl blew through earlier

this

year have also reported damages in the wake of Georges.

While the agricultural community assesses its losses, residents of

Florida and Georgia are picking up the pieces following several tornadoes

that were spawned out of the remnants of the hurricane.

The most damage was reported in Live Oak, FL where a tornado touched

down early Wednesday and destroyed at least a half-dozen homes and injured

five people.

According Scott Pate, the coordinator of the Suwannee County Emergency

Program, the Live Oak tornado touched down shortly after midnight in this

community, located about 80 milews east of Tallahassee. Earlier, on Tuesday

night a wind storm damaged 12 mobile homes in Baxley, GA.

The twisters came as other Gulf Coast residents were getting a first

look at storm and flood damaged homes from Mississippi to Florida.

Three Church World Service disaster response consultants were consulting

with local organizations around the Gulf and helping with damage

assessments.

Adventist Community Services, meantime, put out an appeal for donations

of personal care items including groceries, blankets, cleaning supplies and

bottled water.

Updated Oct. 2, 1998


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