Pumpkin Patch Floods in Columbia County

STILLWATER — Some people in northern Columbia County are cleaning up after Sunday night’s storm wreaked havoc on their properties.

One of the areas hit the hardest was a pumpkin patch off Route 487 near Benton. At least three acres of pumpkins were destroyed in Sunday night’s storm.

Farmer Brian Campbell estimates the cost of those pumpkins to be more than $15,000. Many of those pumpkins washed away into one man’s backyard.

When Kenneth Druckenmiller woke up on Labor Day and went into his backyard near Benton, he saw hundreds and hundreds of pumpkins.

“Pumpkins are the one thing I never thought I’d wake up and see surrounding my house. Never in a million years,” Druckenmiller said.

Northern Columbia County saw around five inches of rain Sunday night into Monday morning. It flooded a pumpkin patch owned by Brian Campbell Family Farms out of Berwick. Campbell says it is the second time this pumpkin patch was flooded.

It’s not just a few pumpkins we are talking about. Campbell believes around 6,000 pumpkins were destroyed. He says it is a loss of around $15-20,000.

“$15-20,000 off the top that we were hoping to get in the scheme of things, it hurts,” Campbell said.

Brian Campbell Family Farms is the primary pumpkin supplier to Walmart in the northeast. Campbell, also known as “Farmer Moofy”, grows 250 acres of pumpkins each year. He is worried about some of the pumpkins that did not wash away.

“Excessive water can cause rotting in the fruit. That’s another concern. Even though you see the damage from the physical loss, we could also be experiencing on this farm possibly the total loss of all the pumpkins that are here,” Campbell said.

As for Kenneth Druckenmiller, he won’t have to buy any pumpkins this year. But he does have a large cleanup on his hands.

“Pumpkins rot and when they do they don’t smell so great. I’m going to be enlisting as many family and friends as I can to at least smash them up, break them down, try to get them to decay a little faster,” Druckenmiller said.

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