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How's Sandy hitting the farm?
Hurricane Sandy is expected to be the most severe hurricane system to hit the northeastern U.S. in decades, experts say. It is triggering evacuations in some of the nation's largest urban areas and making its presence felt on the farms further inland.
Sandy's expected to be worst on the northeastern coast around high tide Monday evening, with storm surge in excess of 11 feet in some areas, says Craig Solberg, senior ag meteorologist with Freese-Notis Weather, Inc. This graphic shows the storm's likely path once making landfall.
This map shows the areas under severe weather warnings on Monday morning. The red and purple hues off the east coast show hurricane and tropical storm warnings, with the orange- and tan-hued areas showing high wind and blizzard warnings.
Don Keeney's office was closed Monday, but the MDA EarthSat Weather senior meteorologist was still very much on the front lines in tracking the storm. He says coastal flooding was happening Monday morning from North Carolina all the way to Maine. The light blue areas show Monday's heavy rain, snow and high wind warnings in the northeast.
Though there's a lot of urban landscape being slammed by the storm, farmers are also affected. Here, Albert Ewing was racing to get the last of his corn harvested on Sunday on his farm near Blake, Maryland, before Sandy reached his area (photo & information by Betsy Freese).
In the area around Elkton, Maryland, roads were already flooding by Monday morning. "The wind is blowing and it's raining hard," says Successful Farming and Living the Country Life Editor Betsy Freese. "Some reports say we may get close to 100 mph winds tonight." This image shows the storm's winds over the northeastern U.S.
For many farmers in the storm's path, Sandy's coming at a bad time. "We have only had 6 days of harvest weather so far in October," says Agriculture.com Marketing Talk veteran contributor docharing. "This storm could get ugly, the weather map shows us on the edge. Nervous in Ohio." This map shows soil moisture levels as of Monday morning.
The storm, on the bright side, will help with soil moisture recharge in the affected areas in the eastern Corn Belt, including much of Ohio and eastern Indiana. Concerns will continue, however, for the area from western Indiana on west through the Corn Belt, says Iowa State University ag meteorologist Elwynn Taylor.
Beyond the moisture and severe weather received by farmers from Indiana and points to the east, another of Sandy's major impacts deals with the marketplace. On Monday, all major exchanges were closed in New York City, but the grains were still trading in Chicago in the absence of influence from the equities trade.
See some of the effects of what many are calling the worst hurricane to hit the northeastern U.S. in decades, possibly ever.