Flooding from Sally halts harvesting in the South

Before heading offshore, Sally, downgraded to a tropical storm, dumped a ton of rain in areas that could see flooding all weekend.

Sally stopped the harvest progress that was already underway in the south. “The biggest impact down there is going to be the ability to get back in and harvest. Everybody that I’ve talked to down there has said they aren’t too concerned about loss, it’s just when can they get back at it,” ag meteorologist Ryan Martin states. “Remember, those guys were in the throes, they were in the busy part of harvest, and now they have to shut it down.”

Martin compares the situation to getting a a good six inch rain in Iowa or Illinois on October 10th.

“It’s not like you’re taking crop away, and as long as you aren’t seeing too bad a wind, which inland you won’t, you’re not going to talk about serious lodging. It’s just with that kind of rain, how soon can you get back in, with moisture sitting on that, does it create some mold issues, that’s what we’re looking at,” Martin notes. “I don’t think we’re looking at a huge loss, it’s just how can we get back to finish what we need to do.”

He says that Sally packed a powerful punch when it came ashore, but the winds diminished as it moved inland.

“The biggest issue for the rest of the storm as it passes through is probably anywhere from four, five, six, or maybe seven inches of rain inland. So, we’re talking about some heavier rain, some localized flooding, but the winds should be down to normal strength,” he adds. “So, you’re talking 30, 40, and 50 miles-an-hour winds as it moves to the south. Honestly, I don’t expect any major infrastructure issues. The moisture, the water, the rain is probably going to be the biggest one.”

The 2020 hurricane season has been a busy one, with named storms already in the lower part of the alphabet, but that does not mean we have seen bigger storms than normal.

According to Martin, “From a meteorological perspective, I’ll sit here and tell you right now, I’m saying a good 30-40 percent of the storms that are named probably weren’t worth being named. I really think the Hurricane Center stretches it on these names right now, and the very first chance that you see a 35 to 40 knot wind, we’re jumping all over the naming of these storms.”