by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – A spate of massive, deadly rain storms has not only killed 28 people but has also devastated the farming sector in California, leading to well over a $1 billion in financial losses for farmers as thousands of acres of cropland are destroyed by flooding, Bloomberg reports.
Still reeling from a crushing drought, California has suffered 12 “atmospheric river” storms since late December. These “rivers” are weather systems that gather vast amounts of water hundreds of miles across the ocean and can carry as much water as the Mississippi River at its mouth, Bloomberg explained in its report.
One of the hardest hit regions is the Salinas Valley, known as America’s Salad Bowl because of its central role in supplying the US with lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, and artichokes, Bloomberg said.
According to the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California, financial losses due to crop damages in the area could reach $1.2 billion.
Another hard-hit area is the Central Valley county of Tulare, where not only have citrus and almond orchards been damaged, but dairy farms have sustained major losses, including jobs.
”The creameries are having to temporarily shut down from the floods, that means a loss of jobs temporarily and dumping of milk,” Tricia Stever Blattler, executive director of the Tulare County Farm Bureau, told ABC News. “There are potentially tens of thousands of acres of cropland under water,” Blattler said.
The floods have caused special devastation to the lives of the mainly Latino farm workers in the region. Earlier this month, 8,000 residents in Parajo were forced to escape when a levee on the nearby Parajo River broke, and many homes were destroyed, Bloomberg reports.
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