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S.C. Forestry Commission estimates $205M in losses from hurricane

Agriculture
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Hurricane Matthew caused about $205 million in damage to the state’s timber resources, according to a news release from the S.C. Forestry Commission.

Recently thinned tracts like this pine stand in Lee County were most susceptible to Hurricane Matthew’s winds. (Photo/Provided)“On a statewide basis, a $205 million timber damage estimate represents less than 1% of the state’s total timber value, and the economic impact from the storm will only be a small percentage of forestry’s $18.6 billion annual contribution to the state’s economy,” state forester Gene Kodama said in the news release.

“However, for those individuals and mills who were impacted, the damage is very real; therefore, our focus right now is providing technical expertise to individual landowners and helping them access any federal financial assistance that will be available,” Kodama said.

Damage assessment began Oct. 10 and most of the affected forested areas were found to be in the edges of stands, along ditches and waterways and in recently thinned stands in the eastern half of South Carolina, the news release said.

Trees were blown down, uprooted, leaning and broken; but the commission doesn’t expect that large-scale replanting will be necessary.

Reach Ashley Heffernan at 843-849-3144.

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