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Gov. Brown seeks agriculture disaster declaration for C.O. after severe storms

Culver sign irrigation line 531
Ben Steen/KTVZ

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Gov. Kate Brown has requested federal agriculture disaster designation for six Oregon counties, including Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson, due to damaging thunderstorms that hit the area on May 30.

In a letter sent Monday to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue, Brown noted that Oregon "farmers and ranchers are experiencing harships stemming from the COVID-19 public health crisis, unpredictable wildfires and, recently, a devastating storm."

She said the National Weather Service issued severe weather warnings for parts of Central, North-Central and Eastern Oregon on May 30 as the storms "brought golf ball-sized hail, heavy rain and winds of 70-100 mph.

"The damage sustained included severe crop impacts, the destruction of agricultural buildings, equipment and irrigation systems, uprooted trees in fields, and damage to critical utility infrastructure."

There was damage in several areas of Central Oregon, most notably the Culver and Metolius areas of Jefferson County and in southern Deschutes County.

Brown asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to expedite relief through the Emergency Conservation Program, to help with repairs, and the Conservation Reserve Program, for emergency haying and grazing acraeage to provide relief to livestock producers.

Other programs she listed provide more emergency assistance, as well as emergency farm loans.

Article Topic Follows: Central Oregon

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