Hurricane Irma’s Effect on Indian River Citrus

Indian River

Doug Bournique

The Indian River area on the East Coast apparently fared the best of all Florida citrus-growing regions hit by Hurricane Irma.

“I’m hearing the vast majority of the crop made it through,” says Indian River Citrus League Executive Vice President Doug Bournique. He thinks a maximum of 20 percent of the region’s crop was lost.

Bournique says many groves remain too wet to assess for damage evaluation.

“It sure is better than what we thought we were going to see” four days before the storm, Bournique says. At one time, Irma was forecast to go up the East Coast with 180-mile-per-hour winds, he notes. Instead, the storm stayed much farther west. The Indian River area had gusts of about 80 miles per hour maximum, he says.

Bournique adds that windbreaks, which area growers planted years ago to curtail the spread of canker, helped cut Irma’s wind speed.

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About the Author
Ernie Neff

Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large