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Louisiana’s largest nursery region suffers after winter storms

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 6:55 PM CST
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FOREST HILL, La. (KALB) - Between the pandemic and two hurricanes, nurseries were already suffering when two winter storms hit the Cenla area in the same week.

“A lot of the damage that was done in the hurricane was more trees falling down and things like that. This is totally different,” said Samantha Young, one of the owners of the Doug Young Nursery in Forest Hill.

She says it was like a domino effect when the smaller greenhouses started collapsing at the nursery from the accumulation of ice and sleet on top of the structures.

“It was just too much too fast and they just couldn’t help it…they just collapsed,” Young said.

However, the row of smaller greenhouses collapsing was just the beginning. A large greenhouse, about an acre in size, collapsed soon after. Young says the major greenhouse contained several hundred thousand plants that were just about ready to be sold in the spring, one of the most profitable seasons for nurseries.

Young’s nursery, along with about 200 others in Forest Hill, suffered a financial hit last spring when the pandemic hit Louisiana. After that, a historic hurricane season brought on extensive damage and loss. With the recent winter storms causing more damage and loss, it looks like it’ll be another year of devastation for Louisiana’s largest nursery region.

“The community impact on this is going to be pretty big. There are other nurseries that have lost almost every greenhouse they have. There are nurseries that may not come out of it. We’re going to push through and try our hardest to have whatever we can for sale.”

Samantha Young

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