A quarter of the food in the U.S. comes from California’s Central Valley, but this winter, a parade of atmospheric rivers caused storms that killed thousands of acres of crops.
Officials from Kings County say that the storms, which have been linked to climate change, flooded 150,000 acres in the area.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, about 99% of the pistachios grown in the United States are grown in Central California.
Nader Malakan is a pistachio farmer. He thinks that about 1,200 acres of pistachio crops, worth $15 million, were lost.
“It’s going to hurt,” he said on CBS News. “It’s quite a lot of money.”
County officials say that $1 billion worth of damage was caused by floods in Kings County this winter.
Tulare Lake, which was drained a hundred years ago and didn’t even exist a few months ago, is back with a force outside of Corcoran. It looks like an ocean. One of the biggest snowpacks ever recorded in California is starting to melt in the mountains above. Forecasters say that high temperatures in the next few weeks could be very bad.
The tweet below confirms the news:
California's Central Valley produces a quarter of the nation's food, but a parade of atmospheric rivers this winter caused severe storms that destroyed thousands of acres of crops. https://t.co/CNgn0MQ5D1
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 12, 2023
Brandon Goedhardt, a farmer who works for Lakeshore Dairy, said, “In a way, you feel like the end of the world is coming.” “What can you do to stop it?”
When the Pajaro River’s levee broke in March, floods forced thousands of people to leave the farming town of Pajaro in Northern California.
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Goedhardt and other farmers are using huge piles of dirt to strengthen and add to a dike that is almost 15 miles long and is meant to stop the rising tide. The farmers said that FEMA workers on the ground are helping them in some ways, but they are the ones who have to pay for it.
Goedhardt said that there is no place safe enough or big enough to move his cows’ house.
Kings County Supervisor Doug Verbund said that workers will finish the levee before the next big melt, but there is no promise that it will hold.
Verbund said, “Mother Nature is in charge.” “You know, we’re just trying to plug the leak as we go.”
Goedhardt said that everyone needs to work hard this week, but everyone’s hearts are falling.
“We’re a family farm,” Goedhardt said. “You know that the family has been doing this for generations, and I’d hate to be in charge if we lost everything.”
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