Sep 3 Strawberry Update: Hurricane Dorian Preparedness and Resources

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Dear Strawberry Community,

Hurricane Dorian is currently not moving and still stalled over the Bahamas. It is expected to stay off land but will be a major threat to the coastal areas of Florida, Georgia, South and North Carolina in the next 2-3 days.

Please visit Tropical Tidbits for updated information on the Hurricane.

A. The Current Situation:

Dorian will move north in the next 24-48 hours as a Cat. 3 and later Cat. 2 hurricane, and will most likely stay off land (Figure 1). However, almost all of North Carolina will be challenged with higher wind speeds mostly on Thursday and Friday (Figure 2). Major rainfall will mostly occur in the Eastern part of North and South Carolina, and is expected to be as much as 17 inches in the coastal areas (Figure 3).

3-day hurricane track image

Figure 1: Predicted path of Hurricane Dorian

Predicted wind chart image

Figure 2. Predicted Tropical force windspeed probabilities in the path of Hurricane Dorian. 

Predicted rainfall image

Figure 3. Predicted Rainfall in the path of Hurricane Dorian.

B. Stay Safe:

First and foremost, you and your family need to be safe! Prepare yourself, have enough food and water at home, have batteries, flashlights and a radio. Please visit our Disaster Information Center to gain updates and information on how to prepare for the incoming Hurricane.

C. Hurricane Preparedness for Strawberry

If flooding is most likely to occur and you already have laid the plastic:

  • Document the status of your field (block by block) before the rain
  • Wait with planting until after the hurricane.
  • Do not plant if it’s still too wet
  • Prepare to redo some of the beds, as they may collapse

Pathogens such as Phytophthora or Anthracnose can be a large problem in flooded fields and you would need to pay special attention in those fields, which were flooded prior to planting.

If wind is expected to be a major problem and you already have laid the plastic:

  • Go out AS SOON AS POSSIBLE and make sure that the plastic is safe and secure! Cover all tapes up with Duck Tape or Gorilla Tape. No holes should be present and the plastic should be firm to the bed.
  • Secure all major pieces of equipment, plastic rolls, bed layer etc. in a safe and secure place.
  • Document the status of your field (block by block) before the rain
  • Wait with planting until after the hurricane.

If you don’t have laid the plastic by now, but you are in an area where rain is expected to be a major problem (coastal areas mostly).

  • Don’t plan to lay plastic on Thursday or Friday. If you lay plastic before, please see above!
  • Be prepared to wait with laying plastic and to apply pre-plant fertilzier until you can enter the field.
  • Document the status of your field (block by block) before the rain
  • Wait with planting until after the hurricane

If you plan to plant fall production strawberries and you DO NOT PUNCH THE HOLES BEFORE THE HURRICANE.

We keep you updated,