Sandbagging 101: A How-To Guide

If your sandbags looked like most of the flood-prone homes did about two weeks ago, you were lucky.

That's because if didn't flood.

If it did, the design most home and business owners chose would have ensured the building would have taken on water.

Jesse Hon with Sparks Public Works says only about 20-percent of home and business owners know how to properly sandbag.

“Everybody needs Sandbagging 101 you never know when its going to happen,” says Hon.

Hon says local residents were busy gathering sand and bags nearly two weeks ago in hopes of protecting their property from flood waters.

In their haste he and his co-workers noticed some inexperienced practices that he says would result in about 80-percent of homes and businesses inadequately protected.

That was the idea behind the demonstration on Monday, because there will be a next time.

“You want about 1/3 to 1/2 filled up which is about 3 shovels full,” says Hon.

And there is good reason for that--one because a 1/2 full bag is less to lift. Second, you won't need all that sand when it comes to stacking.

In front of a demonstration garage, the bags---untied are stacked---like bricks Hon says.

The bags are placed one on one next to each other going right with the end of the bags dog eared and the next bag placed on top of the fold. When it comes to the next row, the bags go to the left.

“Place the bag next to the other, you want to fold, stack, and stomp,” says Hon.

Public works shows us how the many homes stacked the bags improperly, and you can see there are gaps, where water can make its way past the sand and bags.

While its ok to transport the bags tied, you have to untie them and stack them properly--think of big flour sacks at the grocery story, and you get the idea.

Hon says you don't have to get ride of the sandbags.

You can tied them off after use, stack them and keep them out of the element.

They could last a couple of years.

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