Florida industry faces post-Ian era
A monster chose to very slowly depart its own disaster, as Sept. 29 dawned. At eight miles an hour, Hurricane Ian growled into Florida’s Atlantic coast near Cape Canaveral, according to the National Hurricane Center. The coasts of Georgia and the Carolinas will soon face Ian, which may regroup to become a Category 1 hurricane.
News outlets indicated initial estimates that hundreds of people were killed by Hurricane Ian on Florida’s west coast. The Weather Channel reports that wind speeds briefly reached as high as 158 miles an hour – just classifying as a Category 5 hurricane – as Ian came ashore near Ft. Myers at 3:05 p.m. Sept. 28.
Early on Sept. 29, Florida growers and association executives were undoubtedly underway assessing damage from what is tabbed as the fourth-worst hurricane to strike Florida in recorded history.
Many south Florida vegetable growers were approaching, or perhaps underway, planting for their winter deal. News reports of record storm surge and over a foot of rain in Ft. Myers and Naples doesn’t bode well for Everglades growers.
Citrus groves in central Florida were in the bullseye as Ian traversed the peninsula.
Fresh Fruit Portal will have updates from Florida produce operations as the industry assesses its condition.
Orlando, the site of the International Fresh Produce Association convention, held Oct. 27-29, endured the passing hurricane through the night of Sept. 28-29. There is no indication the trade show will be disrupted.