A preliminary assessment conducted by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has revealed that Hurricane Idalia caused damage to 289,096 acres of timber, resulting in an estimated loss of $64,751,255 in value, according to reporting by Fox Weather (9-26-23). The storm made landfall on August 20th as a Category 3 hurricane with winds in excess of 125 miles per hour.
According to the report, pine trees suffered the most damage at $42.6 million. Hardwood saw $11 million in damage, mixed pine-hardwood had $8.1 million, and cypress sustained $4.2 million in damage.
Commenting on the damage, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson said, “For this part of the state in particular—which relies heavily on the timber industry—more than $64 million worth of damaged timber shows just how devastating Hurricane Idalia was, and this does not take into account any potential future harm or disease that could come to remaining timber stands.”
“Due to the decades-long investment between the time of planting to harvesting, these communities will not only need immediate support but also long-term solutions to recover,” Simpson added.
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