News of the WeekAgricultural Research

Tornado Rips Apart Maryland Center

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Science  12 Oct 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5541, pp. 284-285
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5541.284

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BELTSVILLE, MARYLAND-- A tornado struck here in the early evening on 24 September, dealing a serious blow to research at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC), the world's largest agricultural research complex. BARC's director estimates the destruction at $20 million, including extensive damage to one-third of BARC's 8400 square meters of greenhouses. In addition to plants damaged by the flying debris, high winds, and exposure to the elements, a power outage of nearly 48 hours may have ruined numerous frozen tissue samples and collections.