Weather closings and delays

Area farmers prepare for Hurricane Florence

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- As Chris Bowman climbed into his combine harvester, the part owner of Homeland Creamery knows he is in a race against time.

"We learned something from Fran," Bowman said. "The best thing to do is to keep at it until we get finished."

In 1996, the winds from Hurricane Fran leveled about 30 percent of Bowman's corn crop. And the corn plays a very important role in the southern Guilford County dairy farm operation.

"We are counting on it to feed the cows this winter," Bowman explained. "Hope to get it before the hurricane gets here."

While Bowman has another 75 acres to harvest, he is also thinking about the other chores he has to finish before the weather turns upside down.

"We have a generator large enough to run the farm. So making sure it starts, fuel on hand and go from there," Bowman said.

Meanwhile at Bernies Berries, Halloween has arrived early. Co-owner James Kenan explains why.

"We really shouldn't be picking pumpkins right now. We started last Thursday, Friday and Saturday," Kenan said.

If the pumpkins sit in a puddle of water, they will rot. So dozens of decorative pumpkins are now ready to bring the Halloween spirit to your home. But Kenan is not sure what to do with the remaining pumpkins that still need a little bit of time on the vine.

"We are debating on picking them and putting them in bins and in the shed under cover to keep the water off of them," Kenan said.

Pumpkin sales help Bernie's Berries get through the fall season. The biggest moneymakers on the farm are strawberries. While there are no strawberry plants in the field, their beds are made. But heavy rain and wind from Florence could ruin the plastic that's in place.

"What it will do is wash the dirt off of the edge of the plastic and the winds will blow the plastic off," Kenan said.

If any of the topsoil and plastic is removed, Kenan said it would take a lot of manpower and time to fix what was destroyed. ‚Äč