How farmers prepare for heavy rain, Ida’s remnants

Weather

UNION, WV (WVNS) — Anytime there is a chance of heavy rain or severe weather, farmers make sure they take every precaution, especially when it comes to dealing with the remnants of Ida.

Heavy rain, flash floods and rising rivers are all things people worry about when severe weather is on the way. For many farmers in southern West Virginia, severe weather means paying extra attention to their livestock. The main thing they focus on is what effect the rain will have on the ground’s surface.

Don Dransfield with the Monroe County WVU Extension Service said the drought the area was in gives him hope runoff from the rivers may not be as significant.

“Look at the rivers – look at the Greenbrier River, look at the New River – you can see that the water levels are down from where they would be, particularly in the spring,” Dransfield said, who also works with 4-H youth development.

When it comes to livestock, Dransfield said most animals are able to get to higher ground, but it is always a good idea to put your animals in a barn or shelter away from water and make sure they are safe.

“If you have livestock that are confined anywhere near streams that have a tendency to rise when the water starts coming up, with Ida coming, perfect scenario for the water to come up for at least a brief moment,” said Dransfield.

Several of the farmers we spoke with said not only are they prepared for the rain, they also welcome it.

“A good hurricane is a drought buster, and we called for these hurricanes two or three weeks ago, before the fair, and we’ve had two now. It’s what the doctor order for a drought,” Dransfield said.

Besides livestock, houses and barns are another thing to keep in mind if severe weather is on the way.

“I would be more concerned with a rainfall like this, that the water levels could do damage to houses,” Dransfield said.

Dransfield said hopefully the moisture turns into October or November grass for farmers.

“Sit back and enjoy, hopefully a rainfall event that is nice and easy, and get some more moisture in our ground.”

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