Farmers worried about more wet weather - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Farmers worried about more wet weather

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Vermont is preparing for more rain, but for some farmers the damage is already done.

The sun is a welcome stranger at Dave Hartshorn's farm in Waitsfield where rain has been ruining his crops for weeks.

"We can't plant, we can't weed, we can't harvest, we're having a hard time doing anything at the moment," Hartshorn said.

His most popular crop right now should be strawberries, but for him, strawberry season has been a wash.

"Pick-your-owners as far as strawberries - they can't pick in the rain. You're dealing with paper baskets, and we're dealing with spreading molds and funguses, plus no one wants to be out in the rain picking berries anyway," he explained.

He's also concerned for his other crops.

"You see that corn over there?" he said, pointing to a row of corn in the distance. "That's yellow. It should be nice and green now."

The ground is so saturated nothing is growing.

"Now there's so much water in the soil it's hard to get enough oxygen to feed its roots," Hartshorn explained. He is keeping a close eye on the forecast and so is Vermont Emergency Management. The state is set to activate its Emergency Operations Center Thursday afternoon.

"If there is a need to marshal state resources and deploy these state resources we have the people here to coordinate that deployment of resources and make it happen quickly and effectively," Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn said.

Fourteen different state agencies will be working together at the operations center tracking the storm and planning a response to any damage it may leave behind.

"Everybody is ready for the next several days to not only be deployed, but to be deployed outside of their normal jurisdictions," explained Transportation Secretary Brian Searles.

Flooding has already been seen on the interstate and in low lying areas, but it's likely to get worse, which could cause traffic issues and could cause trees to uproot. But Flynn says this storm will not have winds as strong as during Tropical Storm Irene.

"We're in the public safety business and we want to make sure that we are prepared and hopefully the preparedness is for nothing. That's a perfect case scenario," said Flynn.

Secretary Searles is urging drivers to slow down in wet weather and to avoid driving over flooded roads.

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