Hurricane Florence could have impact on store shelves in the state

HERMON, Maine (WABI) - Hurricane Florence has had a devastating impact on the southeast causing 44 deaths and roughly $22 billion worth of damage.

Brett Danforth, Manager of Danforth's Down Home Supermarket says, "Florence didn't necessarily hit us with anything meaningful, but it's going to affect the Northeast."

North Carolina is one of the nation's biggest livestock producers, ranking second in hog production.

Sanderson Farms, one of the largest producers of poultry in the country, reports that a number of their farms are still unreachable.

Danforth says, "For us to get all of our product, a lot of it comes from southern and midwestern states."

About three million chickens and turkeys and 5,500 pigs have been killed by the storm that hit the Southeast coast over a week ago, that according to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture.

Major highways in and out of the state are still under water.

Danforth says, "The tertiary problem is actually having the trucks be able to take product that is available to get it up to the warehouse to replenish the stores in a retail environment, so you have a far reaching impact of these storms that can last not just during the storm, but also a week or two afterwards until the warehouses and the stores get replenished to a normal business type fashion."

All of these factors could very well affect the amount of product we see on store shelves in Maine.

Danforth says their shelves are still stocked for now, but there could be a slow down of product over the next few days.

He says, "So far this storm has been minimal. Usually it's a delayed process, maybe two, three, or four days because it impacts the warehouses and whether or not the product gets in there and then can actually get from the warehouse to us."

The damage to these farms could also affect the prices of chicken and pork in our grocery stores, but according to the USDA, with farmers still accessing damage, it could take a while before we see the true impact of Florence on our shelves.