NCDA&CS Update on Hurricane Dorian (9/4/19)
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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 information with other producers.
Hurricane Dorian Forecast Update
Conditions will worsen later tonight into early Thursday as Dorian moves northward along the coast. Rain and wind will begin across southeast NC overnight and continue through Friday. Impacts will occur well away from Dorian’s center. Remember the category of the storm is only related to the wind and says nothing about impacts of heavy rain, storm surge, tornadoes, etc. All hurricane preparations should be completed by this evening.
- Eastern NC: 6-10” with locally higher amounts up to 15”
- Central NC: 4-8” of rain south and east of the Triangle with lesser amounts west (<2”)
- Heaviest rainfall is expected along and east of I-95 Thursday through Friday
- A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for areas east of US-1 through Friday
- Flooding/flash flooding impacts include the potential for road closures, rapid rises in small streams and creeks, and flooding in low-lying and prone areas
- Flood waters could enter structures within multiple communities
- Eastern NC (east of I-95): Sustained tropical storm force winds 55-80 mph along the coast, 30-55 mph farther inland); Gusts 65-95 mph along the coast, 40-65 mph farther inland
- Slightly higher winds are possible near Cape Fear (sustained winds up to 90 mph, gusts up to 115 mph)
- Central NC (mainly east of US-1): Tropical storm force gusts (40-60 mph) possible
- Tropical storm force winds are expected to begin early Thursday and increase through Friday morning
- Hurricane force winds remain possible along the immediate coast Thursday night into Friday, though gusts could occur across eastern NC
- Impacts in areas with the highest winds include downed trees, widespread power outages, and damage to weak structures
- Although winds will be lower north and west of I-95, isolated trees and power lines could still come down
Life-Threatening Storm Surge
- South of Cape Lookout: 4-7’ above ground
- Cape Lookout to Duck (including Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds and the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers): 4-6’ above ground
- North of Duck: 2-4’ above ground
- Initial impacts will be along the ocean before threat transitions to sound side areas as Dorian moves through
- Greatest surge threat will be Thursday and Friday
- Surge could cause large sections of near-shore escape routes and secondary roads to be washed out or severely flooded
- Additional impacts could include damage to vulnerable structures, major beach erosion, and damage to docks and piers
- Isolated tornadoes are possible across eastern NC Wednesday night through Thursday night
Marine & Coastal
- Rip currents and dangerous surf will occur through Friday
- Severe beach erosion, significant dune loss, and ocean overwash is expected
- Ocean overwash will make roads impassable especially at periods of high tide
Hurricanes Spawn Storms of Misinformation
Statement by the N.C. Pork Council
An Associated Press article published in advance of the arrival of Hurricane Dorian begins like this: “The names of hurricanes may change, but one thing seems to stay the same: Misinformation spreads quickly…”
We cannot agree more. The pork industry in North Carolina has been a victim of misinformation before, during and after recent hurricanes.
Some of it is the result of a deliberate campaign by certain activist groups who are running coordinated campaigns meant to attack hog farmers – campaigns that themselves are dishonest. Other times, it is the result of media outlets that are quick to believe the worst about our farms and can’t (or don’t) verify what they are told.
Time and time again
Before storms like Dorian, activists who oppose livestock agriculture often warn of environmental threats from hog farms — even though post-storm assessments later prove those fears completely unfounded.
Then, once the storm passes, the activists hop into small planes in search of anything that looks like a hog farm under water. They snap photos and share images with media outlets that are anxious to chronicle the storm’s damage, but not so anxious to check facts.
The result: the media, time and time again, has published photos in the immediate aftermath of a hurricane that wrongly identified flooded properties as hog farms.
The AP ran a photo of a flooded hay farm and called it a hog farm. The Washington Post published a photo of a flooded municipal wastewater treatment plant and called it a hog farm. Major national networks published photos of poultry farms that were misidentified as hog farms.
The media also publishes misleading information about how many animals died as a result of the storm. In a state that has about nine million pigs in standing stock, Hurricane Florence’s historic rains resulted in the loss of about 5,500 pigs. Nonetheless, some headlines screamed that “millions” died as a result of the storms.
By the time we correct these errors, the damage is done.