Winds exceeding 100 km/h hit eastern, northern, and central Sicily on May 19th and 20th. Greenhouses covered in (old) plastic films and polytunnels were damaged, as well as many blossoming citrus fruit groves and orchards in full production. The immediate effects were apricot and peach drops, as well as the loss of vegetables in open fields and greenhouses.
Damage to polytunnels
Of course, this is nothing compared to the damage in Emilia-Romagna, but it is also true that each company must deal with its own problems and, most of all, with the damage caused by the weather. Southwestern Sicily was flooded not long ago (i.e., in early February), causing huge damage, and many companies are still recovering and will not be compensated.
Reports from Sicily after the strong wind
"My cherry orchards and vineyards were heavily damaged as not only did a good part of the plastic covers come off, but we also lost many buds. Lots of cherries just fell to the ground," reports a producer from Naro (AG).
Cherries on the ground
"Many apricots and peaches have also fallen, as well as many vine shoots, even though, in this case, the damage is not as bad as in the orchards," reports another producer from Canicattì (AG).
"Unfortunately, the blossoming of our lemons was completely destroyed," adds a lemon grower from Capo D'Orlando (ME).
"Our facilities were heavily damaged, and the technological greenhouses where we grow tomatoes now have to be repaired, not to mention the missed harvesting operations that make us lose out in a period characterized by interesting prices," explains a vegetable producer from Paternò (CT).
Damaged greenhouses and crops
"In our case, the plastic was ripped, and a gate collapsed, so, all in all, things could have gone worse," says a grower from Ragusa.
A producer from the Ispica (RG) area reports "€50 thousand worth of damage to the facilities, not to mention that caused by the non-harvesting of organic zucchini."
A company in Marina di Ragusa, unfortunately, experienced heavy damage to its greenhouses as well. It is difficult to say where the wind caused the most problems, but the area between Scicli and Vittoria was definitely affected, just like Ispica (RG) and Mazzarrone (CT).
Of course, it will take a few weeks to fully assess the damage in economic terms, not only when it comes to immediate losses but also for those caused by commercialization affected by a reduced quality.