Louisiana continues recovery efforts from two hurricanes as Hurricane Zeta approaches

Hurricane Zeta will wash ashore as damage is still being tallied from two previous hurricanes. While a final price tag has not been put on it yet, we know the ag community will measure it in terms of billions, not millions.

Hurricane Laura was a formidable storm when it came ashore in late August, breaking many records. Among them, it was the seventh named storm to make landfall in 2020 and it was only August.

According to LSU economist Kurt Guidry, “Hurricane Laura, we saw about a $1.6 billion dollar impact to both agriculture and forestry. Majority of that was in forestry, timber damage. The impact to agriculture was predominately infrastructure-driven, about $400 million dollars of about a $500 million dollar impact to agriculture. The other $100 million dollars was in terms of direct commodity impacts.”

No one could guess in less than two months, another monster storm would take nearly the exact same path.

“When we’re looking at both the impact from both Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Delta, really both of those storms are very similar,” Guidry states. “Not only in terms of their path but in terms of the impacts we’ve seen of them.”

Guidry says that while the storms took similar paths and impacted the same commodities, more of those commodities had been harvested by the time Delta came around, so the impact was a lot smaller. Laura was predominantly a wind-related event with isolated flooding along the coast.

“When we look at Delta, quite a bit of rainfall. We had areas inland that had some flooding issues,” he adds. “The issues are going to be more isolated from a flooding standpoint to some inland areas that got the fifteen, eighteen, twenty-inches of rain. For most of those, those flooded areas have drained off relatively quickly. Long-term impact, we hope is going to be relatively minor.”


Update on ag’s recover after Hurricane Laura.

Thick clouds of mosquitoes kill livestock after Hurricane Laura.

Louisiana’s sugarcane crop hit with the aftermath of Hurricane Laura.

Hurricane Laura decimated Louisiana’s pecan crop.

The impact of Hurricane Delta on Louisiana’s agriculture.