Among the striking visuals from the EF1 tornado which hit the Windsor Locks area Monday afternoon were the huge canopies of netting which blew off shade tobacco fields, wrapping around trees and houses and wires in residential neighborhoods. (see more photos) The state’s famed grown-in-the-shade tobacco is used as the outer wrapper of fine cigars, and the leaves need to be unblemished.
State Agriculture Commissioner Steven Reviczky talked to the state’s largest grower. He says the farm, which he declined to name, lost 15 to 20 acres of tobacco when the storm cut a path across the fields, and lost some 40 acres of the shade netting.
He says the farmer hopes to be able to straighten some of the plants which were flattened by the winds, but says in the actual path of the storm, nothing is left.
He says they’ll try to recover any netting they can and make repairs if possible, but says for the most part, the netting is expected to be a complete loss.
The farmer was able to get all farm workers to safety before the storm hit, and no one was hurt.