WINFRED, S.D. (KELO) — Farmers and ranchers are cleaning up after some lost nearly all their buildings, bins and equipment during this month’s derecho.
It’s been a busy couple weeks for farmers, ranchers and their insurance companies as they assess the aftermath of the May 12th derecho. The damage to operations is widespread across eastern KELOLAND and some producers are still waiting for their insurance adjusters to estimate their damage.
The Coomes family saw widespread damage across their over 2,000-acre farm.
“It wasn’t like a tornado where you know it was like one mile where you might see some damage and two miles down the road nothing, you know we seem to have damage over everything and debris in all fields everywhere it seems like,” said TJ Coomes.
Coomes says his insurance agent came out within the first couple days to see how they were doing, but the adjustor didn’t come to look at the damage for nearly two weeks.
He waited to clean up most of the debris until it could be evaluated, the rest was documented through photos.
“The fear of the unknown, what to do, what we can clean up, what we can’t what we have to wait and just visibly seeing the mess everyday is just kind of depressing,” said Coomes.
“Before moving materials off the place, take pictures, it’s going to be important. We want them to be able to move as quickly towards getting back to normal, but we also need to make sure we know exactly what was damaged so we can pay out accordingly,” said Nathan Lindeman, ag specialist at Ryan Wilcoxon Farm Bureau Financial Service.
Now, producers anxiously wait for those insurance checks to come through, and hope it is enough to help them get back on their feet.
“If you built something five years ago to trade it for that value, that’s only half the cost and then if they take depreciation out of that, pretty quick you’re maybe you’re maybe 40, 30 percent maybe getting paid on it,” said Coomes.
“We want to get checks out to people within a couple weeks. The conversation around what they have coming and how coverage works, that should be communicated fairly clearly, it’s just a matter of how fast the funds can be out there,” said Lindeman.
Ready to begin rebuilding, but knowing it won’t be the same.
“It will never be the same. Not that we can’t move forward from it, but probably the hardest thing in this whole deal is just mentally handling it,” said Coomes.
Coomes estimated that it will take a year or two to get all of the bins and buildings rebuilt on his operation. He said if he committed to building a new shop right now it would take until around March of next year to be built.