High water levels in July destroy farm crops

Pepin Farms will lose over $25,000 from the flooding

Northampton, Mass. (WWLP) – The water levels were so high on Ken Pepin’s farm that 22news couldn’t even drive to where he plants his crops. He said, the water has never before been this high in July.

“All season long we’ve had problems,” said Pepins.

The water level on his farm in Easthampton is almost four feet high thanks to overflow from the Holyoke Dam on the Connecticut River. Pepin planted his crop last week and now it’s completely washed away. This is the second time he’s lost his crop to flooding this year.

“The expense of the seed, the plastic, the fertilizer’s gone and everything, ya know,” Pepins said.

He predicts he will lose more than 25 thousand dollars.

The dam is a run-off river, so there’s not much you can do about the the flooding on the farms.

Paul Ducheney, the Hydrolics Superintendent of the City of Holyoke Gas and Electric said,”What that means is what’s coming at us we release, whether we generate with it or as you can see spill.”

Vermont and New Hampshire got five inches of rain this weekend. That’s all making its way down to the Holyoke Dam.

There are flood control dams on the Connecticut River, but Paul says they wouldn’t be able to hold back this much water. He said this year’s summer rainfall is so unusual that you would have to look back 15 to 20 years to find another instance like this.

There is some good news for farmers in Easthampton, though. Paul says if the weather stays this nice, the water levels should be back to normal by next week.

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