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Tropical storm Gordon expected to clear fast

Tropical storm Gordon made a first landfall in Florida on Monday and hit the coast near Long Beach, Mississippi around 9 pm EST on Tuesday night. It weakened after it made landfall, but heavy rain and inland flooding are major concerns for Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Arkansas as the storm moves north Wednesday. One person was killed when strong winds knocked a tree onto a trailer in Florida.

"Tropical Storm Gordon came through Homestead and Miami-Dade County Sunday night into Monday morning," says Peter Leifermann with Brooks Tropicals. "It dumped about six inches of rain on us, and due to the wind gusts we couldn’t harvest for one day, but it has cleared up and we’re back to normal. Thankfully, it wasn’t anything more than a quick storm for us."

"There's just a bit of wind and a lot of rain here in south Florida when it formed over the Florida keys on Sunday night-Monday morning," added Marc Holbik with Ecoripe Tropicals. "Hopefully it won't pick up more strength before it hits the gulf states." 

Rain makes ground for digging softer
“We don’t expect much of an impact from this storm,” says Sylvia Clark with the Mississippi Sweet Potato Council. “In fact, the rain would help make the ground a little softer for digging. We are pretty far away from the coast and may get about three inches of rain from this storm, but with our sandy type of soil, the potatoes can handle it." In Mississippi, sweet potato harvest for some growers started in August, but September and October are traditionally the digging months. Therefore, growers don’t want any prolonged rain. “This storm moves fast, which is positive,” ended Clark. 

Sirmon Farms in Alabama doesn’t expect much of an impact either. “We didn't get any rain during the day on Tuesday, but the area was expected to get some Tuesday night,” according to Sara Allison with Sirmon Farms. “The amount of rain we will get won’t have any impact on the sweet potato crop though,” she added.

Storm to leave fast
Matt Garber with Louisiana-based Garber Farms doesn’t expect tropical storm Gordon to have any impact on fruit and vegetable crops. “We would get hurt if it was already wet and a storm would stall and bring rain for a continued period of time. This storm is expected to move fast and if the rain clears out and the storm leaves, I don’t foresee any problems,” he shared. 


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