Riding Out the Storm

11/3/2012 7:00 AM
By Dennis Larison Editor

It looked like a big one coming in, and it was if you lived along the Atlantic Coast or the environs of New York City, where dozens were killed and millions left without power.

Spread out across the vast countryside, though, Hurricane Sandy didn’t carry the punch that many of us feared.

At least that’s the way it appeared to us as this editorial was being written with the eye of the storm still moving off a few miles to our west and days to go before it would be fully dissipated and the damage assessed.

With the destruction from last year’s Irene and Lee still fresh in our memories, many of us prepared for the worst from Sandy.

Several of our Facebook fans reported last-minute attempts to bring in more of their crops, sometimes without much luck.

“We tried, but the beans were too tough to put through the combine,” one wrote.

Putting out a newspaper shares some similarities with farming. Our staff and farflung network of correspondents are out there every week cultivating leads and harvesting stories to nourish our readers’ curiosity about the world of farming beyond their own fields and feedlots.

A lot of that has to grind to a halt when reporters and editors are forced to hunker down to ride out a storm.

We prepared as best we could before the winds hit, prearranging post-storm interviews, clearing the boards of routine tasks and making contingency plans to continue our work on cellphones and laptops at home should the roads become impassable.

Thankfully, many of those emergency measures can be put back on the shelf until the next disaster looms.

That’s not to say there wasn’t any real damage done in the countryside, such as the downed trees, lodged corn and high-tunnel collapse our readers reported on our Facebook page.

Similarly, there also was an impact on the news-gathering process as the big storm news to some extent drowned out some of the regular news that flows in every week.

Many meetings that we would have covered were canceled and email slowed to a trickle as Extension agents and other contributors took shelter.

None of this, however, was the disaster we feared, and we’re grateful. We’ll make do with what we were able to harvest and prepare for sunnier days ahead.

Do the deer cause a lot of damage to the fruit and vegetable crops in your area?

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