Sally’s impact on agriculture

Sally is now a tropical depression and dumping a ton of rain over Alabama, Georgia, and now South Carolina.

Some towns nearly three feet of rain as the system hovered over the coast and that does not include storm surge. Well over half a million homes are without power in Alabama and Florida; utility crews say they are in this for the long haul.

At least one person has died from the storm. Forecasters say that number could rise, because flooding poses such a great threat.

At least eight waterways in South Alabama and the Florida panhandle are expected to reach flood stage today. Right now, Sally is expected to continue on a slow northeaster path. Forecasters predict widespread flooding from central Georgia through southeastern Virginia.

Major river flooding will crest by the weekend, but rivers could be elevated into next week.

The USDA explains what the ag community is keeping its eye on. According to Brad Rippey, a meteorologist with the agency, “From an agricultural standpoint the main focus will be as the system moves inland and any potential flooding, as well as isolated tornadoes and localized wind damage for inland areas. There are a lot of broiler houses, a lot of poultry across southern Alabama that could be subjected to some flooding, as well as some localized power outages... Also, as we move into some of the inland areas across Alabama and Georgia, cotton bolls are opening. Roughly half or a little more of the cotton has open bolls at this time, and that could be harmed by tropical storm force winds as well as the heavy rain.”

The National Hurricane Center is tracking two other storms out in the Atlantic: Hurricane Teddy, a Category 2 storm, and Tropical Storm Vicky, which could dissipate in the coming days.