What Does It Take to Get the Farm Back in Order After a Hurricane?


Photo courtesy of John Lambeth

Storms and hurricanes can be destructive to farms, and Hurricane Florence was costly to our farm, affecting our labor force, infrastructure, inventory and equipment. The effort to rebuild began immediately after the hurricane and continues for us a year later.

Following the hurricane, our nursery business was closed for two weeks for initial cleanup and while we waited for power to be restored to our region. In addition, our workforce was unable to return to work for several weeks after the storm due to flooded, impassable roads. The damage to our structures was massive: We lost our pump house, irrigation pumps, starters, irrigation time clocks and the roofs of our barns, potting shed and office. Through a lot of hard work and some insurance money, we are back open for business. However, we expect it will be a year or two before we get back to a relatively normal, pre-hurricane mode of operation.

– Eelco Tinga

Eelco Tinga, Jr. is a fifth-generation farmer whose family runs Tinga Nursery Inc. in Castle Hayne. He serves on the state board and as New Hanover County Farm Bureau President.

See more: Helpers in Hurricane Relief

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