Hail destroys blueberry crop in Oswego County
It was a storm like Frank Kunzelman had never seen before and 18 hours after the hail stopped he still had a pile of ice in his yard.
"It wasn't a few, it was torrential. And they were bouncing all over the place," said Kunzelman.
The storm hit West Monroe in Oswego County about 7:30 on Wednesday night. In just fifteen minutes, the quarter inch sized hail was able to destroy 90 to 95% of Stan Ineich's blueberry crop. On Tuesday the plants were covered with tens of thousands of blossoms but hail knocked almost all of them to the ground.
"We lost about twenty tons," said Ineich.
Ineich says the hail did about $40,000 in damages to his crops and he won't be able to open up his u-pick "Stan's Berry Farm" operation this summer. Ineich said he normally doesn't carry crop insurance but is considering it for next year.
Families from across Central and Northern New York visit Stan's Berry Patch every summer and Ineich said he's sorry he won't have anything for them this year. There are only a few surviving blossoms, just four or five blueberries per plant.
"That's what bothers me more than losing is my customers. A lot of these people have been coming here for years," said Ineich.