McCall’s and Schwebach Farm in Moriarty took heavy damage in a rain and hailstorm last weekend—and both say they are open as usual in spite of losses sustained.
A severe thunderstorm rolled through the Estancia Valley Sept. 4, dumping two and half inches of water in 20 minutes, according to the National Weather Service.
Sandia Airpark Estates East Airport in Edgewood received 1.58 inches, according to NWS data. They also got reports of heavy flooding in Moriarty and Estancia.
In addition, the National Weather Service got reports that traffic was stopped on Interstate 40 between Edgewood and Moriarty because there was zero visibility during the storm.
According to the NWS spokesperson, its not unusual for the area to get rain this time of year, but what is unusual is the severity of that particular storm this late in the season. He said spring and July is the regular time of year for heavy rainfall and hail.
The initial severe weather warning alerted people to the possibility of hail the size of quarters, but no reports came into the office.
The two biggest farms in the area reported otherwise, as both of them experienced both heavy rainfall and hail. “McCall’s suffered some damage but we will be open as usual,” said Kevin McCall.
McCall’s is open for a short season starting in October, with tours and a haunted corn maze, and sees 90,000 visitors a year, typically.
“The storm hit a number of our crops,” said Ivellise Schwebach, adding, “We are still open, though!” She and her husband Dean own Schwebach’s Farm in Moriarty.
She said the storm damaged the pinto bean crop—meaning they may not have any this season. She said they would be checking the fields tomorrow to see how well the bean plants fared. “Everything was affected and damaged but nothing was completely destroyed,” Schwebach said.
She said the farm got two and half inches of rain and hail. She said the fields at the lower end of the farm, the road and the ditches all flooded and at one point “you couldn’t see the ditch, it just looked like a lake.” She said all the produce grown inside the hoop houses is undamaged, but produce grown outside is a little beat up.
“We are very grateful, humbled and touched by the extension of kindness from the community,” she said. According to Schwebach, in the last few days the farm has been getting tons of calls from concerned community members and has received lots of support from the community.
Moriarty Mayor Ted Hart said in the City of Moriarty there were “no damages that we have been made aware of.” He said the city handled the storm well and only had to clear a few downed branches, which is pretty standard during a heavy rainstorm.