Idalia Weakens to Post-Tropical Cyclone; Nick Wishnatzki, Nate Thomas, and James Lipp Comment on Idalia's Impact
UNITED STATES - After causing heavy rains and strong winds throughout the Southeast United States this past week, Idalia has weakened into a post-tropical cyclone. It is now moving farther from the coast of North Carolina, leaving parts of Florida with notable damage, including to some industry operations.
“We had some very minor damage at one of our farms but avoided any major impacts,” said Nick Wishnatzki, PR Manager, Wish Farms. “We got very lucky with this one. Our thoughts are with our neighbors north of us.”
According to reporting from CNN, Idalia was the most powerful hurricane to hit Florida’s Big Bend region in over a century. The storm is now moving toward Bermuda this weekend, which has prompted a Tropical Storm Watch.
“I think the fact that the hurricane hit a less populated area and was moving so fast, had limited the effects in our logistics world,” Nate Thomas, Allen Lund Company’s General Manager of the Charlotte office, told AndNowUKnow in a recent discussion.
James Lipp, General Manager, ALC Charleston Office, added his thoughts as well.
"We feel for those directly affected by the storm's impact on the Florida coast. Thankfully it came ashore at one of the least populated parts of Florida. We saw a very limited impact on trucking before, during, or after," James said.
Duda Farm Fresh Foods too had its eye on the East Coast as it erred on the side of caution, however John Alderman, Eastern Sales Manager, confirmed it was just that.
"Like many, we were unaffected by Idalia besides a delay in harvesting and logistics with our corn harvest in Georgia to be safe," John shared. "The good news is that Duda grows in three different locations, thereby affording us a measure of flexibility with a regionally diverse program to mitigate risks from Mother Nature while always being prepared to work with changing weather."
The aftermath of Idalia left thousands of homes damaged in Florida, with waist-high flooding in some areas. After hitting the state, the storm moved through southern Georgia and South Carolina, also causing damage.
The National Hurricane Center issued its first Idalia forecast on Saturday, when the storm was near Cozumel, Mexico. It projected landfall in the United States within 10 miles of where it actually struck five days later, near Keaton Beach, Florida. By then, Florida had sent out evacuation orders to at least 28 counties.
Despite moving away from the U.S., parts of the Southeast are still in danger due to ocean swells. President Biden has also formally declared a major disaster in Florida as between 4,000–6,000 homes were damaged.
As of Thursday night, August 31, about 91,000 Florida power customers still had no electricity.
AndNowUKnow will continue to keep an eye on the aftermath of the storm, bringing you more updates from produce industry operations in the affected areas.