• Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee tours local farmland devastated by flooding

    By: Winnie Wright

    Updated:

    DYER CO., Tenn. - Another round of severe weather and heavy rainfall the last several days has left much of the Mid-South under water.

    Many of those areas are still dealing with flooding from the last round of storms.

    Those conditions brought Gov. Bill Lee to West Tennessee Wednesday, where he got a tour of farms devastated by flood conditions. 

    He brought the cavalry with him – representatives from USDA, TEMA, TDOT, and the Farm Bureau just to name a few.

    They packed the Dyersburg Airport alongside dozens of local farmers that came out to hear their message. The running theme: we are here for you.


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    “I’ve never seen anything like it,” Ed Sumara told the crowd, one of the half-dozen farmers that shared their stories with Lee Wednesday.

    He has around 400 acres in Lake County, and 15 percent of it is ruined.

    “I’ve seen a lot of river waters up and down. I’ve never been able to not plant a crop,” said Eugene Pugh. 

    He shared a similar story. For him, it’s not a matter of losing crops in the ground. He can’t even get his planted. 

    Farmers in this area are reeling from the flooding this spring but also last year, all affecting their yields.

    “We are going to try to plant what we can in these next two weeks that we’ve got,” Pugh continued.

    Lee promised the farmers the agencies touring with him would be at their disposal. He also said his administration would continue turning to the federal government for aid.

    “Agriculture is 13 percent of the agriculture of Tennessee,” Lee told us. “The largest economic driver in this state. This part of the state is primarily made up of agriculture economics. The northwest part of Tennessee. So, it’s a major component of the economy that impacts the entire state. Folks in urban communities are impacted when rural communities suffer.”

    With sunshine in the forecast, now’s their chance to move. You can expect to see farmers like Pugh working their fields, doing everything they can to have something in the ground for harvest.

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