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York, Chester County farmers prepare for Hurricane Florence

Bush-n-Vine’s Rock Hill stand is closed Saturday due to Hurricane Florence. In this file photo, customers pick their own strawberries at the farm.
Bush-n-Vine’s Rock Hill stand is closed Saturday due to Hurricane Florence. In this file photo, customers pick their own strawberries at the farm. Herald file photo

Hurricane Florence is already having an impact on local crops and farms.

Bush-n-Vine in Rock Hill will be closed Saturday. The farm will be open Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Matt Gusmer, manager at Windy Hill Orchard and Cidery in York, said employees were picking as much fruit Thursday and Friday as possible in anticipation of heavy rainfall and possibly high winds.

The public also is invited to pick apples at the orchard Friday, Gusmer said. The orchard may be closed over the weekend. Residents can find updates on the Orchard’s Facebook page.

“We’re going to try to stay open as long as possible,” Gusmer said. “Our biggest concern is rain.”

York County, South Carolina emergency response experts say flooding is likely with Hurricane Florence. Flood prone areas and land near the Catawba River and Lake Wylie are most susceptible.

Pete Wilson with Cotton Hills Farm in Lowrys said the rain also is a concern.

Farm workers there have prepped strawberry fields a few weeks early as too much rain could mean they aren’t ready to plant strawberries next month, Wilson said.

“We’re just trying to get prepared like everyone else,” he said.

The farm’s cotton supply should be OJ since it is early in the season, Wilson said. He said if it were closer to picking season, the damage would be much worse.

“Thankfully, we’re a couple of weeks from that point,” Wilson said.

Wilson said the farm also is hoping there won’t be damage to pumpkins. He said workers are tying things down the best they can.

“There’s not much we can do for pumpkins or cotton,” Wilson said.

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