In Wake County, the worries from Hurricane Matthew came mainly in the form of damage from flooding to some homes. Urban areas have their own special problems with roadways and with some sites of development when severe weather comes.
But in neighboring Johnston County, the hurricane took a different but severe kind of toll, one that reminds those in “metropolitan” Wake of North Carolina’s rich agriculture heritage.
Johnston officials estimate the losses from Hurricane Matthew’s torrential rains at $19 million and counting. And that’s not including the loss of livestock and flooded-out equipment or buildings. In addition, farmers have to worry about unpaved farm roads and sometimes complex irrigation systems.
Some farmers scrambled to get what they could out of their fields. Tobacco was pretty much harvested. But tobacco curing in barns needs power, and that was out in many places in Johnston.
The county also is home to huge sweet potato crops, and some farmers got out in the fields and salvaged what they could when they could, and that includes peanut crops.
North Carolinians understand all that farmers have to go through to feed the rest of the world. But it’s well to remember in the aftermath of a natural calamity how it affects the farms so nearby. And, to help.