Thunderstorms Leave Cotton Fields in Ruins in Glasscock County

By: Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

GLASSCOCK COUNTY - Intense thunderstorms across Glasscock County on Thursday night left a big mess in their path. Crews have been out all day trying to survey the damage. As Newswest 9 found out, those hardest hit are area farmers who had just begun to harvest.

More than 80 downed power poles, flooded roadways, battered oil equipment, and fields full of cotton left in ruins. Farmers in the St. Lawrence community woke up Friday morning to devastation, some more than others.

"A lot of crop damage," Glasscock County Resident, Jeff Turner, said. "Cotton in some areas has been ruined. High winds, hail, rain, tree damage in some areas. Last night, a lot of roads were impassible because of that."

The Glasscock County Sheriff tells NewsWest 9, thankfully no injuries have been reported. Power crews stayed out all night long trying to survey the damage.

"I've been through several hurricanes and this looks like hurricane damage," Turner said. "If you've ever been through one, power lines are just down for miles."

"Your heart just drops because you've been here before," Cotton Farmer, Carl Holscher, said. "Every time you get a hail storm, it's that way when you're in agriculture."

But more than broken lines, the storms ripped through cotton fields. Just two days ago, farmers began harvesting their crops. Now, many don't have any left to go back to.

"It's very hard," Holscher said. "It's disheartening. You still have to harvest, the expenses are the same but the income is not there."

NewsWest 9 caught up with Carl, a Glasscock County cotton farmer, on his way to find out just how damaged his fields are.

"I'm very worried about it, but let's get everybody's house dried and back in," Holscher said. "Then we'll worry about the crops later."

They estimate a County-wide loss of about 15-20 percent of the crops.

"It's really bad because it's in October," Turner said. "All the expenses are in the crop. Now, 2/3 to 3/4 is on the ground."

"Got up this morning and surveyed the damage," Holscher said. "We knew we had some buildings and houses damaged, so let's go to work and pick up the pieces."