NCDA&CS Update on Hurricane Dorian (9/2/19)

— Written By
This newsletter contains important information from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Veterinary Division’s Livestock Unit in regards to Hurricane Dorian. Please share this newsletter with other producers.
To subscribe to this newsletter, please send an email to the Veterinary Division’s general email account, Joe.Web@ncagr.gov. To view the Department’s Hurricane Dorian website at http://ncagr.gov/disaster/.
Governor Cooper Issues Executive Order
Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler released the following statement regarding Gov. Roy Cooper’s issuance of Executive Order 100 in preparation for Hurricane Dorian.
“Due to the approach and potential impacts of Hurricane Dorian, the Governor has declared a State of Emergency for North Carolina. Hurricane Dorian creates an imminent threat of severe economic loss of livestock, poultry and crops ready to be harvested. At my recommendation and pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 166A-19.70(g), the Governor has directed the Department of Public Safety to temporarily suspend weighing those vehicles used to transport livestock, poultry or crops ready to be harvested. The Governor has also declared that the maximum hours of service for drivers prescribed by N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-381 should be waived.
“Farmers will be required to show a copy of the executive order upon request by law enforcement officers, exempted vehicles must produce documentation sufficient to establish their loads are being used for carrying feed for livestock and poultry, or transporting livestock, poultry or crops ready to be harvested in the State of North Carolina.”
North Carolina Pork Council Issues Statement Regarding Hurricane Dorian
The North Carolina pork industry is prepared for the approach of Hurricane Dorian and is ready to respond as necessary to protect human health, animals and the environment. Surveying by the North Carolina Pork Council indicates that anaerobic treatment lagoons have been well managed through the crop-growing season and can receive the amounts of rain forecasted.
North Carolina hog farmers have seen about 20 hurricanes over the past 20 years. Our farmers, veterinarians, environmental specialists and other experts have, working with state regulators and other partners, made tremendous strides in preparation for storms. These measures include the closure of more than 100 swine farms that were in flood-prone areas.
In recent hurricanes Matthew (2016) and Florence (2018) there were not widespread impacts to or from swine farms, as reported in post-storm assessments. In both of those record-breaking storms, more than 98 percent of the industry’s anaerobic treatment lagoons did not have negative impacts. Swine losses were extremely low and isolated. Significant agricultural losses were concentrated in other sectors.
We urge caution by the media and the public regarding communications and information about our farms and our industry. In recent past storm events, we have seen widespread erroneous photographs and reports about our farms on social and mass media. (Major media outlets have later issued corrections.)
See also:
Hurricane Dorian Forecast Update
Dorian continues to move through the Bahamas and will begin the long-awaited northward turn by tomorrow. The official National Hurricane Center track demonstrates Dorian paralleling the southeast US coast through Friday which remains in line with most model guidance. However, with little margin between the track and coastline, small eastward or westward deviations in the track could have large implications on direct impacts to North Carolina. Dorian is still expected to weaken as it moves northward, though the wind field is expected to increase in time. Regardless of where the eye of Dorian tracks, it should be stressed that impacts will be felt far from the center.
The probability of direct impacts to North Carolina are increasing for later this week. According to the latest forecast, conditions should begin deteriorating Wednesday afternoon and evening with the greatest impacts expected Thursday into Friday. Uncertainly remains in how fast Dorian will accelerate northward later this week.
Heavy Rain
  • Rainfall amounts of 5-10” with locally higher amounts up to 15” are possible across coastal North Carolina (east of I-95). Lesser amounts are expected farther inland.
  • Where the heaviest rain occurs is highly dependent on storm track.
  • Flooding of roads, small creeks/streams, and poor drainage areas is possible.
  • No moderate or major river flooding is forecast at this time.
  • The heaviest rain is expected Wednesday through Friday.
Damaging Winds
  • The potential for tropical storm force winds is increasing across eastern NC, especially coastal areas.
  • The earliest reasonable arrival of tropical storm force winds is Wednesday morning across southeast NC.
  • The most likely arrival of tropical storm force winds is late Wednesday night into Thursday for all coastal areas.
  • Hurricane force winds are possible along the immediate coast, but is highly dependent on the track of Dorian.
Storm Surge
  • If Dorian tracks along the coast, life-threatening coastal and sound side storm surge will be possible.
  • Impacts could include damage to vulnerable structures, major beach erosion, and damage to docks and piers.
  • Surge impacts will be less of the storm tracks farther offshore.
Tornadoes
  • Increased tornado activity remains possible later this week across eastern NC, but is dependent on the track.
Marine & Coastal
  • Rip currents, dangerous surf, and beach erosion is likely.
  • Large seas are expected along with treacherous conditions at inlet entrances along all beaches.
  • The most severe marine impacts are expected Tuesday night through Friday.