Police appeal after 100 sheep washed away in floods

About 100 sheep were washed away in the Carmarthenshire village of Pontargothi as Storm Callum wreaked havoc across Wales.

Dyfed Powys Police said one witness saw the sheep floating down the River Towy on Saturday (13 October) after the village was severely flooded.

Anyone who finds the sheep washed up is urged to call the police force on 101.

See also: Why farmers are being asked to do more to fight climate change

Beef and sheep farmer Chris Alford said areas of his farm were under 8ft to 10ft of water.

Mr Alford, who farms about 110ha near Pencelli, Brecon, said: “We farm on a flood plain, but the water has reached levels I have never seen before. It has had had a major impact.

“Shale and shingle, drift wood and brash has spilled from the river on to the land, which will need to be cleared up. But the worst damage has been caused to the fencing.

“I have done a lot of double fencing under Glastir. It’s soul-destroying to see a lot of this fencing flattened. It will take at least two weeks of work to put it right.”

Daniel Johns captured the floods on video:

 

In Carmarthenshire, locals described the impact of the storm as “the worst flooding in 30 years” to affect the county.

Dairy farmer John Merfyn Owen posted a video on Twitter of 300 cows being moved to drier ground in the county.

Large rural areas of Ceredigion, Powys and Monmouthshire were also badly affected by flooding and a number of rural roads remained cut off on Monday (15 October).

At the storm’s height, there were 30 flood warnings and 40 alerts in place across Wales over the weekend.

Three people were killed after Storm Callum brought gale-force winds and torrential rain, resulting in serious flooding.

However, the flooding was not confined to Wales. Farmers in other parts of the UK have also reported disruption to their businesses.

Farmers in Herefordshire and Cumbria also posted pictures of flooded fields and stranded livestock on Twitter.

Rural insurer NFU Mutual said it was dealing with a number of storm claims, especially from farmers and rural businesses in south Wales.

Met Office forecaster Bonnie Diamond said farmers should expect the weather to remain unsettled for the next 48 hours.

But she added: “From Wednesday [17 October], high pressure will bring more settled and dry weather for many, at least until the weekend.”

  • Are you a farmer whose business has been affected by Storm Callum? Call the FW newsdesk on 020 8655 4905.

Met Office data reveals power of Storm Callum

Storm Callum deepened over the Atlantic on Thursday 11 October, reaching a minimum pressure of 938hPa, which is exceptionally low for this location in mid-October.

Strong winds were felt widely across the UK, with severe gales across western parts on Friday 12 October. Capel Curig, in Conwy, north-west Wales, recorded the highest gust, reaching 86mph.

Storm Callum brought heavy and persistent rain across many western parts of the country on Friday and Saturday (13 and 14 October), with south Wales bearing the brunt.

Libanus in Powys recorded 198mm (Met Office rain gauge) in 36 hours by Saturday evening (13 October) – more than a month’s rainfall. Crai Reservoir in the Brecon Beacons recorded a provisional 212.4mm (Natural Resources Wales/Flood Forecasting Centre rain gauge) in 60 hours by midday on Sunday (14 October).

Many other areas also received large amounts of rainfall. This brought severe flooding across south Wales, with many rivers bursting their banks, especially in the counties of Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion.

The average rainfall figure for Wales in October is 169.6mm.

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