After damaging winter, Oregon businesses rebuild in Idaho
NYSSA, Ore. (AP) – Third-generation farmer Shay Myers thought his onion-packing sheds would be OK through last winter, even as other Malheur County buildings were collapsing under the weight of epic, heavy snow.
The Owyhee Produce buildings were relatively new construction. Myers believed they’d hold even as 3 feet and then nearly 4 feet of snow piled on top of the metal roofs.
He was wrong, Oregon Public Broadcasting (http://bit.ly/2r155KR ) reports.
Owyhee Produce is a family-owned farm operation that specializes in packing onions and asparagus and one of several onion-packing facilities in the small farming town of Nyssa, Oregon.
Nyssa (population 3,000) is in the heart of eastern Oregon onion country, where the locally grown crop is cleaned and packed after spending the winter in tall, airy sheds.
On Jan. 18, the snow came down thick and fast. Shortly before noon, one of Myers’ employees checked the sheds to make sure none were bowing under the weight. At the time, everything looked fine. But soon, an employee came running into Myers’ office, interrupting a family board meeting.
“Shed two collapsed!” she shouted.
Myers and his family rushed outside. A huge portion of the shed was reduced to a pile of wood and metal debris. Thousands of onions spilled out into the snow. That was the first of four buildings Owyhee Produce would lose to the snow.