Market News & Headlines >> Florence May Slam N. Carolina Hog Industry

Hurricane Florence is bearing down on North Carolina’s main hog production region, and worries are high that it could do the same type of severe damage that Hurricane Floyd did when it hit the state back in 1999. 

Florence is a category 4 Hurricane with potential to strengthen more today before weakening somewhat on Thursday.  Florence is expected to make landfall late Thursday night or early Friday morning near Wilmington, North Carolina and stall out along the coast over the weekend, with the result that the region will see torrential rains on top of the initial storm surge. 

The storm’s very slow movement once near the coast has raised potential rain totals to between 20 to 30 inches with some amounts close to 40 inches by the time the storm clears during the weekend,  according to forecaster World Weather Inc. The middle and lower North Carolina coast into northeastern portions of South Carolina will receive the greatest rainfall, while amounts in areas northwest to the Appalachian Mountains will vary from 5-12 inches with local totals of 12-18 inches possible from Fayetteville, N.C. to Florence, S.C., World Weather said Wednesday morning.

USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey told FOX Business on Tuesday morning that “given the history of what we saw 19 years ago with Hurricane Floyd, there is a huge concern that we'll not only see mortality in the pig population but some of these waste piles could be compromised and the swine waste could get into the waterways. So, there is a lot of concern”. 

In 1999, Hurricane Floyd dumped over 20 inches of rain across eastern North Carolina, leading to the deaths of tens of thousands of hogs and pigs, and also causing waste ponds to overrun, resulting in massive water pollution.