KANSAS CITY, Mo. – As the financial impact of Hurricane Michael continues to be calculated, some agencies started totaling the early damage from the storm.
Last week, the Georgia Dept. of Agriculture (GDA) reported that at least 92 chicken houses were destroyed, and an estimated 2 million chickens were killed.
According to the GDA, poultry is the top agricultural commodity for the state and contributes $23.3 billion. Pecan farms, dairy producers and processing plants were all impacted across Georgia as well.
Hurricane Michael made landfall on Oct. 10 and swept northeast from the Florida Panhandle to Alabama, Georgia and the rest of the Mid-Atlantic.
“Michael’s impact has been the most widespread and devasting hurricane in recollection to impact Georgia’s agriculture industry,” Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black said in a statement. “Crops, animals and infrastructure have all taken a substantial loss.”
“We are not talking in terms of tens of millions, but hundreds of millions,” Black continued on Oct. 15. “From what I have seen so far, I believe there will be an overall impact of over one billion dollars out of Georgia’s economy.”
The Alabama Dept. of Agriculture & Industries confirmed to MEAT+POULTRY that the state lost 31,000 broilers, 2,000 pullets and between 50 and 75 chicken houses received slight to moderate damage.
“The value of the pullets and broilers lost are: $40,000 to $50,000,” Alabama Dept of Agriculture said in a statement. “The houses destroyed were all 25-30 years old, so their value would be less than $100,000 to $150,000. As far as the repair costs to the 50-75 houses that were damaged, until we get estimates on those, it would be hard to determine, most of these are just tin and cool cell pad damage.”
North Carolina has not released its reports of damage for Hurricane Michael yet. However, the state is still reeling from Hurricane Florence in September.
North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore announced a plan to allocate $794 million additional relief funding for Hurricane Florence. According to Moore’s office, that brings total disaster relief up to $850 million