Hurricane Michael made landfall on October 10, 2018, as a Category 4 storm with 155 miles per hour winds, making it the strongest storm to hit the continental United States since 2004. With very high winds, excessive rainfall, and a large storm surge, significant damage was expected and did occur. Eight counties (Barbour, Coffee, Covington, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston, and Russell) in southeastern Alabama sustained major direct damage in many industries, much of which occurred in areas with significant agricultural and timber production and processing. While direct damages were large, other industries that support these directly affected industries also have been and will be affected in the coming months and years. For example, the ability to irrigate (in some cases), tend, and harvest crops will be slowed or prevented altogether. Farm structures, other infrastructure, and processing equipment (i.e., cotton gins) will need to be rebuilt or replaced. This report outlines the economic impact of the storm including and beyond the direct losses in the study area.
The projected economic losses shown in this report assume no governmental disaster support is provided to Wiregrass farmers. These losses are tempered if disaster programs are provided to affected farmers. A positive trickle-down effect
will lessen the losses to related industries and households. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System has gathered the direct loss data and provided the projected indirect and induced losses to inform the public policy discussion that must occur.
The Economic Impact Analysis was conducted by Decision Innovation Solutions (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Hurricane Michael Task Force
Alabama Cooperative Extension System