KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Heavy rainfall and severe flooding continued across the Mid-Atlantic Monday, as meat and poultry processors attempted to assess the impact of a weakening Florence.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said moderate rainfall will linger across central and western North Carolina posing a moderate risk of flash flooding for portions of western and central North Carolina. The agency reported ongoing significant river flooding across parts of central and eastern North Carolina.
Ongoing heavy rainfall is expected across the mountains in Virginia and West Virginia which could lead to flash flooding. Additionally, landslides also continue to be a hazard for the central Appalachians, according to the agency.
“On-farm assessments and industry aerial surveys conducted today determined that flood waters have reached portions of our farms in at least three locations,” the North Carolina Pork Council said in an update posted Sept. 16. “We know that, in these same locations, animals were moved in advance of the storm or are continuing to receive attention from farmers. In many locations, trucks have been able to continue to move animals in response to the flooding.”
Tyson Foods announced Sept. 13 that four facilities — three in North Carolina and one in Virginia —would not operate Sept. 15 or 16 due to the storm.
“Our poultry and prepared foods plants in the Carolinas and Virginia have power and currently expect to operate Monday,” Tyson Foods said. “Our poultry plant in Monroe, North Carolina, will not operate. Some farms in the Monroe and Fayetteville areas are operating on backup generator power and we’re working with those farmers to ensure they have fuel until power is restored.
“Our Meals that Matter disaster relief teams are on standby and prepared to deploy to serve meals to storm victims, volunteers and first responders.”
On Sept. 15, Laurel, Mississippi-based Sanderson Farms had not received any reports of injuries or deaths among the company’s employees and growers in North Carolina.
“We will continue to assess the situation related to our processing plant, hatchery and feed mill in Kinston, North Carolina, and our processing plant and hatchery located in St. Pauls and Lumberton, North Carolina, said Joe F. Sanderson, chairman and CEO. “An initial assessment indicated no significant damage to those facilities, and we are pleased that power has now been restored in Kinston. However, given the amount of rain those areas continue to receive, our assessment will continue through the week-end.”
In an emailed statement to MEAT+POULTRY, Perdue Farms said “We are still working to get back to normal in the Carolinas. Fortunately, none of our facilities had any significant damage. We continue to assess what remains a changing situation, keeping our associates’ and drivers’ safety foremost.”