Leonhardt Urges Farmers to Prepare for Possible Storms

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – As the remnants of Hurricane Laura batter the southern U.S. on Thursday, West Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic are expecting high winds and heavy rain to hit sometime this weekend. The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) and Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt want to remind farmers and landowners to be proactive in preparing for possible storms that may be on their way.

“As our state braces for the worst, it is a good time to remind farmers how they should prepare for potential heavy rainfall. Good planning can save lives and property,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “Our goal is to reduce property damages and risk of injury to themselves, crops and their livestock.”

Before the thunderstorms or heavy rain hit, take precautions to keep your family, property and animals out of harm’s way:

  • Move any equipment, hay bales and other valuable items out of the floodplain.
  • Check your livestock and pets to make sure they have access to safe areas, clean water and food.
  • Fence off any potential entrapment areas.
  • Inspect your roofs and gutters and do minor repairs if needed.  
  • Make sure you have fuel for your generator, saws, tractor and other equipment.  
  • Make sure your chainsaw is ready and in working order.  
  • Stock up your fence repair bucket and supplies so you can easily repair fence damage from limbs and trees.  
  • Make sure your 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. 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,” Leonhardt said.

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture protects plant, animal and human health through a variety of scientific, regulatory and consumer protection programs. The Commissioner of Agriculture is one of six statewide elected officials who sits on the Board of Public Works..