Damaging winds that blew through Sampson County late Monday night not only claimed 14 injuries, but took the lives of thousands of animals on farms located across the devastated areas.
David and Angie Naylor of Salemburg have owned a turkey and hog operation since 1993. Following the storm, David says he drove over to the farm, which is just down the road from his house, and discovered the boards, tin and other building materials strewn from one side of the field to the other.
“Those turkey houses and hog houses are kinda my wife’s job,” Naylor said. “She managed the everyday operation there.”
Naylor says his three turkey houses were completely demolished, claiming the lives of nearly 16,000 birds. The hog house, while not left untouched, had damage that must be repaired before the buildings can be used again.
“We moved the pigs out,” Naylor said. “We are completely at a loss until we can rebuild the houses.”
The entire rebuilding process, he explained, will take between four and five months, maybe longer. In all, there is nearly $500,000 worth of damage.
“We will do what we have to do and make it happen. This is a risk you take when you have a farming business like this.”
In his nearly 25 years of operating the turkey and hog business, Naylor says he has never faced such devastation and loss like he experienced Monday night.
Naylor wasn’t the only farm in Sampson County to suffer from the damaging winds, that the National Weather Service is saying was straight-line winds and not a tornado.
According to Ronald Bass, director of Emergency Management Services, the Tyndall Bridge Road farm was one of several locations damaged. In all, more than 12 turkey houses were either damaged or destroyed, and several hog houses. The total number of lives lost has not been determined.
A farm on Lake Artesia Road suffered damage to three turkey houses, one turkey house on Julius Lucas Road was damaged, a hog house on Panhandle Road and six turkey houses on U.S. 701 were damaged.
Stedman resident Brandi Hobson, who traveled around the county after the storm to survey the damage and take photos to document the destruction of the winds, said when she arrived at the Naylor farm, she was shocked by what she saw.
“There were animals lying around everywhere,” Hobson said. “It was a terrible experience to see that.”
Among the rubble, Hobson said she witnessed a baby turkey walking. She said her husband picked it up.
“It was sad to see him there all alone,” Hobson added.
Insurance agents were busy Tuesday and Wednesday, as was Naylor, making their way around to the different areas to survey the damage from the storm. In the wake, the Salemburg farmer said he hadn’t really had a chance to see what damage, if any, was done at his home. But, was looking forward to getting started on rebuilding the business.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.