Farmers steel themselves as Storm Jonas hits Britain

The Army is on standby as Storm Jonas moves from the US across the Atlantic to lash Britain with heavy rain and blizzards today (26 January).

The western side of the country is expected to bear the brunt of the stormy weather with farmers in the north of England and the West Country in the firing line.

The government is taking “all possible steps” to prepare for another storm which is due to hit Britain imminently, with the military on standby to help communities, said Defra secretary Liz Truss.

Fields remain sodden and many farms are still reeling from a series of storms and a record amount of rainfall during December.

See also: Farm floods: Guide to practical and financial support

Pictures are already emerging as the storm begins to arrive in Cumbria.

Sheep sheltering from weather © Andrew McCaren/LNP/REX Shutterstock

Sheep attempt to shelter from the rain and wind on the Kirkstone pass in Cumbria
26 Jan 2016 © Andrew McCaren/LNP/REX Shutterstock

On Instagram clonfaddachef posted this video of their farm


A bit wild on our farm check this morning #wild #stormjonas #ourfarmlife @deric_ohartagain #waterford

A video posted by @clonfaddachef on

And @HafodCheese tweeted

Storm defence and aid

Farm charity Forage Aid said it was continuing to make steady progress helping deliver animal feed and livestock bedding to stricken farmers.

“On average we are sending eight loads of forage and/or bedding per week to the farmers in the flood affected areas,” it said.

Progress was slow because farmers were using up their flood-damaged stock first but pledges of help would be needed well into the spring.

Temporary defences and pumps are being deployed across the country and Environment Agency staff are checking and maintaining flood defences.

Blockages are being cleared from watercourses and water levels are being monitored ahead of a further storm front expected on Friday (29 January).

Ms Truss said she expected to chair further Cobra meetings throughout this week to ensure the government’s response remained “targeted, fast and effective”.