Note: After this story was published, the NC Department of Environmental Quality removed the public database from the agency’s website “for maintenance,” such as correcting a few longitude and latitude figures. However, the database did contain phone numbers for some of the affected swine farms. A DEQ spokeswoman said the database would be reinstated soon, possibly by the end of the week.
Update: As of Thursday, Sept. 27, the database has been reposted online.
Days after Hurricane Florence devastated eastern North Carolina, fourth-generation hog farmer Brandon Howard had to figure out how to remove “large numbers” of dead pigs from a nearby swamp.
Two of the hog houses at Howard’s 3,200-head farm in Onslow County had been engulfed by floodwaters; two others were half full. Howard “was working with the [Department of Agriculture] to get the hogs out of the swamp by air,” read notes from the state Department of Environmental Quality. “He has folks out trying to capture hogs that are roaming.”
At least 5,500 hogs died during Hurricane Florence. More than 100 swine waste lagoons have sustained damage, flooded, breached or nearly breached since the historic storm hit on Sept. 14, and now it’s known where some of them are.
A public but little-known DEQ map and database lists every hurricane-related incident –wastewater treatment overflows, coal ash spills, petroleum and other hazardous material releases reported and/or investigated by the agency and its regional offices. (Policy Watch found the information via mappingsupport.com,which provides a full list of available state environmental databases.)
Although most of the hog farm incidents are simple entries, a few contain anecdotes that can only hint at the anguish and panic of losing lives and property.
As the lagoon began to fill at Ronnie Jarman’s farm, the power went out. He had no more room in his dead box for drowned hogs. And while he has a refrigerated box, it couldn’t function without electricity.
The hog houses at the Scott Farm, also in Onslow, lost their roofs, the notes read, “and it’s still raining. He needs help with fixing the roof so it will stop putting more water into the lagoons” — which flows from the houses that normally hold up to 3,800 pigs. “He’s unable to find somewhere to get a tarp.”
Farm workers were also in peril. At A&P South Farms, both lagoons overtopped. Employees had to be rescued by kayak.
Here is a partial list of lagoon breaches, discharges and flooding that were listed in the database, plus their counties. In the original table, Policy Watch incorrectly listed the wrong Strickland Farm in Wayne County. The table has been changed to reflect the correct Strickland Farm in Sampson County.
|Permit Number||Facility Name||Combined Owner||Allowable Count||Number Of Lagoons||Incident||County Name||Location Lat Num||Location Long Num||Address 1||City|
|AWS670003||Brandon Howard Farm #2||Brandon Howard||3271||1||Lagoon Inundation||Onslow||34.8389||-77.4967||437 Rhodestown Rd||Jacksonville|
|AWS670010||Scott Farm||George Scott||3840||1||Damage to hog barn roofs||Onslow||34.8167||-77.3856||Jim Parker Rd||Jacksonville|
|AWS520016||White Oak River Farms (Forrest Nursery)||White Oak River Farms LLC||3200||1||Lagoon overtopping/discharge||Jones||34.9181||-77.3708||203 Neuhoff Ln||Maysville|
|AWS520078||Robert Cox Green Farm||Robert Cox||600||1||Lagoon overtopping/discharge||Jones||35.0686||-77.445||621 Stroud Rd||Trenton|
|AWS520036||Clayhill Farms, Inc.||Elijah Morton||2000||1||Lagoon inundation from creek||Jones||34.9917||-77.2917||1087 Davis Field Rd||Pollocksville|
|AWS310318||R & K Jarman Farms 4-7||Ronnie Jarman||2480||1||Lagoon inundation/discharge||Duplin||34.8972||-77.8133||305 Brown Rd N||Beaulaville|
|AWS510020||Sammy Britt Farm houses 1-6||Sammy Britt||3720||1||Water from hog barn reached surface waters||Johnston||35.2878||-78.32||900 Langston Rd||Newton Grove|
|AWS310475||Reeda Meadows Farms 1 & 2||Rufus Rouse||3698||2||Lagoon Inundation and discharge||Duplin||34.8531||-77.8597||1672-A Pasture Branch Rd||Beulaville|
|AWS540111||Morgan Farms, Inc.||Michael Morgan||960||5||Lagoon Inundation||Lenoir||35.1379||-77.666883||2519 Mark Smith Rd||Deep Run|
|AWS310128||Triple D Farm, LLC||Jamie Dail||6120||2||Two lagoons inundated but no animals on farm||Duplin||34.7556||-77.6833||428 Bear Pond Rd||Richlands|
|AWS310166||RL Pickett Farm||Richard Pickett||3672||1||Lagoon inundation||Duplin||34.8564||-77.8656||1593 Pasture Branch Rd||Beulaville|
|AWS820493||A & P South||A & P Farms LLC||1064||3||Lagoon overtopped||Sampson||34.668088||-78.253336||5527 Wildcat Rd||Harrells|
|AWS820698||Allen Cannady Farm #1||Robert Cannady||5200||1||Lagoon overtopped||Sampson||34.839658||-78.372016||2181 Wright Bridge Rd||Clinton|
|AWS820557||Strickland Farms||Harold Strickland||4350||2||Large lagoon wall failure releasing all waste to stream||Sampson||34.86617735.23||-78.1722-78.297888||Ozzie Road||Clinton|
|AWS310273||NH Herring Farm||Nicholas Herring||2640||1||Lagoon Inundation||Duplin||35.0494||-77.9878||751 Veaches Mill Rd||Warsaw|
|AWS310445||Terry Miller Farm sites 1&2||Terry Miller||3200||2||Lagoon overtopped||Duplin||34.875||-77.8667||1816 Pasture Branch Rd||Beulaville|
|AWS310548||Carl Baker Farm||Elijah Baker||1196||1||Lagoon overtopped||Duplin||34.9869||-77.8064||1278 N NC 111||Beulaville|
|AWS310376||Duplin 1 & 2||Wbw Sow Farms LLC||7200||2||Lagoon overtopped||Duplin||35.0022||-77.8553||1604 N NC 11 903 Hwy||Kenansville|
|AWS760003||Applefield Farm-Lower & Upper||Philip Faucette||12400||2||Lagoon inundation||Randolph||35.6208||-79.6153||4599 Riverside Dr||Ramseur|
|AWS310131||Hunter Farms||Michael Hunter||2448||1||Lagoon inundation||Duplin||34.8369||-77.7056||258 Authar Sloan Rd||Chinquapin|
|AWS310419||Henry D. Teachey Farm||Kenneth Brown||1860||1||Dike wall break/lagoon emptied||Duplin||34.8619||-77.9489||421 Stocking Head Rd||Rose Hill|
|AWS710033||Coastal Farms||Kenneth Lanier||2448||1||Lagoon Inundation and discharge||Pender||34.475||-77.8625||Rocky Point|
|AWS520064||W&P Farms Inc||W & P Farms Inc||7680||2||Lagoon 2 inundated||Jones||35.1064||-77.4||1583 Wyse Fork Rd||Trenton|
|AWS820545||Craig Collins Farm||Craig Collins||516||1||Inground lagoon inundated discharged onto fields||Sampson||34.66978||-78.293844||2625 Wilber Pridgen Rd||Harrells|
|CATTLE/DAIRY: AWC760031||McCain Dairy||William Frazier||1301||3||Waste flowing from spillway, traveled 100 feet toward woods. Sandbags keeping it from Lake Lucas, Asheboro's water supply||Randolph||35.7456||-79.8617||1904 Lake Lucas Rd||Sophia|
|AWC990012||Shady Grove Dairy||Tim Smitherman||1480||3||3/5 waste ponds are over; facility out of compliance since August rainfall||Yadkin||36.2331||-80.5258||4408 Shady Grove Church Rd||East Bend|
|Duplin 1 and 2 lagoon overtopping|
|P1,2, 11, 17 previously overtopped AWS 820415, 412, 511 0900089 AWS 820349 previously overtopped 820511|