Farmers told to prepare for flooding as Storm Christoph hits

The Met Office warned heavy rain with melting snow could cause flooding
The Met Office warned heavy rain with melting snow could cause flooding

Farmers are being urged to prepare for potential flooding after alerts were issued across the country as Storm Christoph approaches.

Forecasters are warning that that storm could bring up to 200mm of rain in parts of the UK.

The Environment Agency has 14 flood warnings - meaning "immediate action" is required - in place across England alone.

The Met Office issued an amber weather warning for rain across the North, Midlands and East.

It warned this amount of rainfall along with melting snow from previous cold weather was likely to cause flooding.

Craig Woolhouse, of the Environment Agency said: “We are expecting flooding to affect parts of northern England today and then northern, central and eastern England on Wednesday and Thursday, which could cause damage to buildings in some communities.

“Heavy downpours falling on already saturated ground may also cause flooding more widely across England from today until Saturday for slower responding rivers.

"Localised flooding on roads and land is also likely across central and southern England on Wednesday and Thursday.”

Farmers and keepers are being encouraged by the RSPCA to move livestock and horses to high ground and ensure emergency feed and water supplies.

Farmers should also make sure they can be contacted in an emergency, such as attaching contact details to gates so they can be contacted.

In 2020, during Storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge, the RSPCA’s flood response team responded to almost 250 calls and helped to rescue sheep caught up in the floodwater.

Water rescue team coordinator, Jason Finch said: “Planning an escape route before flooding hits can make a big difference if you find yourself in an emergency situation.

"Flood water can rise very quickly and animals can be extremely vulnerable so it’s really important that we plan ahead for all eventualities.”

Top tips for flooding

Farmers have been issued tips by the RSPCA to ensure safety for themselves and their livestock:

• Plan your escape route and keep contact details of people who can help you move your animals in an emergency.

• Ensure you can be contacted in an emergency - if you have horses or livestock in field attach your contact details to gates so you can be contacted.

• Make sure you have suitable carriers available for small animals and keep a supply of food in case of evacuation.

• Bring small animals inside and, if possible, upstairs, and move food, bedding etc somewhere dry.

• Put important documents in sealed bag along with photo of pet incase they get lost.

• Move livestock and horses to high ground and ensure you have emergency feed and water supplies.

• If you have to leave your animals behind, leave them inside an upstairs room with plenty of food and water. Leave notices on the outside doors to say there are animals inside and contact your local Flood Warden immediately to arrange rescue.

• Stay informed; call Floodline 0845 988 1188.