As the remnants of Hurricane Laura batter the southern U.S., the West Virginia Department of Agriculture is warning farmers to be proactive in the face of coming weather.
Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt says his office expects that high winds and heavy rain could hit the state sometime this weekend.
“As our state braces for the worst, it is a good time to remind farmers how they should prepare for potentially heavy rainfall," Leonhardt said.
"Good planning can save lives and property. Our goal is to reduce property damages and risk of injury to themselves, crops, and their livestock.”
Before the thunderstorms or heavy rains hit, farmers should take precautions to keep their family, property, and animals out of harm’s way, Leonhardt said.
- Move equipment, hay bales, and other valuable items out of the floodplain.
- Check livestock and pets to make sure they have access to safe areas, clean water, and food.
- Fence off any potential entrapment areas.
- Inspect roofs and gutters and perform minor repairs if needed.
- Make sure fuel is available for generator, saws, tractor, and other equipment.
- Make sure chainsaws are ready and in working order.
- Stock up fence-repair supplies to repair damage from limbs and trees.
- Make sure livestock have access to adequate grass and feed for several days as you might not be able to access them if roads are washed out.
“West Virginians are all too familiar with extreme weather,” Leonhardt said.
"These types of events can block roads for days and knock out electricity for weeks. This can cause feed stores and farm suppliers to close for extended periods of time. Farmers should take the necessary action to prepare."