Irma a Much Appreciated Rain Event in Central South Carolina


Irma made her appearance in South Carolina on Monday with some wind, and some rain, but neither at catastrophic levels by any means.  Charles Davis, Calhoun County Extension Agent:

“Yes, we came through a lot better than I expected.  We had wind gusts around 50 mph, based on what I could see in my backyard the way my trees were shaking.  It was loud, a little scary and it was noisy, and in the end we managed to come out with surprisingly little damage.”

How much rain do you think you had?

“I had 4.5 inches at my house in St. Matthews, my weather station was showing 4.9 inches, and in conversations I’ve had with some of my farmers, they’re telling me we’ve had 4.5 to 5, maybe six inches, depending which band of rain showers you were under from the hurricane.”

That’s very manageable as far as having to deal with excess moisture.

“Yeah, we were in a really, really dry spell, we hadn’t had any decent rainfall in almost a month, and today, even after five or six inches of rain, I don’t see any water standing in any fields anywhere.”

Have you come across any wind damage?

“Actually, the only damage I have seen, and in talking to my folks over here, the only concern we have is that our cotton got wrapped up pretty good, leaned over a good bit.  We’ve got a good crop, heavy boll load, and that weight laid some cotton down.  So, we’ll be defoliating by airplane, but we’re not at the point we’re ready for defoliation anyway.  Once the sun comes out and the breeze blows, and it dries out and we start taking leaves off, it’ll stand up.  Harvesting may be a bit of a challenge, but that’s a challenge we’ll take.”

Anything we need to add, Charles?

“As far as timing goes, if we had to have one, this is probably about the best timing we could have asked for, 95% of our corn crop was out of the field.  “Corn was in the bin, a lot of guys were really rushing hard to finish up to finish up over the weekend.  One farmer I talked to finished up about 2:00 am Sunday morning, and got the rest of his out.  So, corn was out of the way, we didn’t have to worry about corn blowing over and that only left cotton and peanuts.  Peanuts that needed to be dug we had them on top of the ground, so we’re okay there. 

“Other than wrapped up cotton, we’re in good shape, we’re happy, no irrigation systems blown over, no trees blown over to amount to anything, a limb here and there, but other than that, we came out quite well.”

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.