MOULTON, Ala. (WHNT)- An EF1 tornado on January 12th left LouAllen Farms picking up the pieces for months.
Larry LouAllen estimated the damage caused totaled about $174,000, which he said wouldn’t be covered by insurance. The damage affected the greenhouses and strawberry fields the most, causing strawberries to be torn up and blown away.
“January the 12th, when we had the tornado it actually came directly across a three-acre strawberry field and pulled off probably 10% of the plastic,” LouAllen said. “So those rows that we’re harvesting now have got a lot more dirt, I mean than just soil. Plus it makes them more vulnerable to disease and other things by them touching the ground versus staying on the plastic.”
The family says they tried to save the damaged strawberries by putting the plastic back in place, but they quickly found that was impossible.
Friday, May 5 was a big day for LouAllen Farms, as they were selling strawberries at Moulton’s Strawberry and Antique Festival.
For a brief moment in January, they had contemplated if rebuilding would be worth it. Joey LouAllen, Larry LouAllens’s oldest son, says he now knows for sure it was.
“You know I enjoy it. I believe in it…” Joey LouAllen said. “In the long run, it’s one of those things you look back and realize, we can’t let this go. We can’t not do this.”
The LouAllens are expecting a 60% loss compared to a normal year. They also expect a major shortage in the amount of jelly they can produce. The family said they’ll move forward with what they have and put what’s already gone behind them.
LouAllen Farms, located at 1974 County Road 177, Moulton, AL 35650, offers plants, strawberries, peaches and other produce Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.