"You ain't seen nothing yet!" Environmentalists fear Hurricane Florence will again flood Carolinas' many livestock operations, bringing catastrophic pollution.

by Larry Powell
Almost 750 thousand turkeys (shown here) and some 100 thousand hogs,
were lost in catastrophic flooding in North Carolina during Hurricane Floyd in 1999. 
Dave Gatley FEMA
It's an all-too-familiar story.

Given past history, chances are good that Florence will once again turn waterways in the Carolinas - home to hundreds of huge swine and poultry barns and waste lagoons, into a toxic mess of feces, urine and animal remains. It happened when Hurricane Floyd struck in 1999 and Mathew stormed in in 2016.  Even tho they were smaller storms than Florence is now, Mathew and Floyd left their marks, too. According to "The New Food Economy," 14 lagoons flooded and millions of animals died during Mathew. Environmental groups such as The Waterkeeper Alliance, documented what they called "fields of filth" left behind, as seen here. Floyd's toll was also devastating. (See photo, above.)

North Carolina's livestock produce more than 90 billion kilograms of "wet waste" annually.

Despite these seemingly catastrophic scenarios, the hog industry is still putting on a brave, if not contradictory face. The North Carolina Pork Council maintains that waste lagoons are rarely "overtopped" in floods because they are intentionally built on high ground, with berms protecting them. And, it adds, many people just "don't understand this."
This picture, posted on the Council's own website, seems to show
neither berms nor high ground!

Please also read:
"In Hogs We Trust," a critique of Manitoba's runaway pork industry.


PinP said…
Can something like this happen here? Well, Manitoba may be landlocked. But many pig barns are in a flood plain. They can, and have been flooded in past years.
John Fefchak said…
Flooding from Hurricane Florence is overtaking hog farms. Officials say several open air manure pits at hog farms have failed. Manitoba has literally hundreds of such pits throughout the province. Should such flooding of pits (lagoons) take place in Manitoba, drinking water sources would be jeopardized, plus further pollution to Lake Winnipeg.

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