Farmers Picking Up the Pieces After Weekend Storms - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/2/03

Farmers Picking Up the Pieces After Weekend Storms

This weekend's rains came with a price for Dawson County farmers. "Pretty high winds, it dumped about three and a half inches in 45 minutes and quite a bit of hail," says Dawson County cotton farmer, Mike Hughes.

Weeks of work no match for mother nature's fury. Mike Hughes' cotton farm literally leveled in a matter of minutes. "Basically that's what's left of your crop right now. That's one of those things that happens when you're dealing with mother nature. You can have everything in perfect shape and in 45 minutes it can all be destroyed," says Hughes.

A portion of his cotton drowning under five feet of water. He says it's the worst storm he's seen in almost 10 years. Pummeling young cotton plants to death, stripping the life from delicate stalks. "Most of them are brown and washed away ," says Hughes, "I would suspect some tornado with it that flipped this many pivots in a row." About a dozen pivots total, lay inverted, dormant and dry. "I won't know whether or not I will replace or repair this one," says Hughes.

But even in time of tragedy, Hughes remains hopeful he'll survive this year, somehow. "The good news is it's still the early part of June so we have a little time to get cotton back in there. Yeah, it's a double expense starting out basically so it'll make this year definitely more expensive to get going," says Hughes.

Damage estimates in Dawson County haven't been totaled yet, but Hughes says it could be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Farmers in that county have until June 10th to replant their crops.

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