Crops damaged by overnight thunderstorms

BLACK OAK, AR (KAIT) - Overnight storms caused severe damage to cotton crops in Region 8. Black Oak and Monette were two areas hit the hardest. Dime and quarter sized hail damaged nearly 60%-90% of the cotton, depending on the area.

Dennis Gathright has farmed since 1973, and this is the worst damage he has ever seen. He said, "It's saddening. You put your whole years work into this, and then here in 15 minutes it's gone."

Gathright hopes some of his cotton is still salvageable but won't know until he is able to look over all of his fields.

And the damage doesn't just affect the farmers. Gathright said they use the money from the crops to hire construction workers to build shops as well as putting the profits back into the community.

He said any spending he planned on doing may change because the profits from the cotton may not be what he initially expected. The next step for Gathright is to get the insurance company out to his farm.

"Just take it one step at a time. You just go from the insurance, and then see what you can salvage out of the fields, and go from there."

He also added that even with the tough times he doesn't plan on giving up. He said you learn from experience and that is what he will do after this unexpected loss.

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