Farmers in western North Carolina are adding up their losses after the heavy rains from Subtropical Storm Alberto.
Hendersonville farmer Randy Edmundson thinks about 70 of his 110 acres (44 hectares) are under water after the storms. Edmundson told the Asheville Citizen-Times many of his crops have drowned and the wet conditions will delay planting.
He says up to 45 acres (18 hectares) of sweet corn will be lost. Edmundson says two acres of strawberries, his squash beds and half of his crookneck and zucchini squash were destroyed. Young cucumbers and tomato plants are gone.
He says the loss is sweet corn alone was worth about $60,000.
Edmundson knows many farmers face the same problems.
He says it will probably be about three weeks before he can plant new crops.
Across the region, county officials are conducted initial damage assessments over the weekend. State and federal damage assessment teams will join those officials next week as warranted. The local damage assessments are the first step in determining what, if any, state or federal disaster assistance programs are available to help residents recover.
Utility officials in Gaston County blame heavy rain for a sewage spill that released 165,000 gallons, some of it into the Catawba River.
The spill was cleaned up and reported to the N.C. Division of Water Resources.
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