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Filling sandbags is a two-person operation: One member of the team should place the empty bag between or slightly in front of wide-spread feet with arms extended. The throat of the bag is folded to form a collar and held with the hands in a position that will enable the other team member to empty a rounded shovel full of material into the open end. The person holding the sack should be standing with knees slightly flexed and head and face as far away from the action of the shovel as practical.

The shoveler should carefully release the rounded shovel full of soil into the throat of the bag. Haste in this operation can result in undue spillage and added work. The use of safety goggles and gloves is desirable and sometimes necessary.

Bags should not be filled more than half full or less than one third their capacity.

Pyramid placement is used to increase the height of sandbag protection.

Place the sandbags to form a pyramid by alternating(l header courses (bags placed crosswise) and stretcher courses (bags placed lengthwise).

Stamp each bag in place, overlap sacks, maintain staggered joint placement and tuck under any loose ends.

 
THE SLOW HARD WORK OF SHOVELLING
COMPARED TO THE EASE OF L'ILBAGGER
 

FILLS BETWEEN 650 AND 1000 BAGS PER HOUR
WITH UNSKILLED OPERATORS

 
 
 
U.S. Army Corp of Engineers
Filling Sandbags

When filling sandbags you should work in pairs, with one person holding the bag while the other shovels the fill material. The first shovel of fill will be placed on the lip of the bag to help hold the bag open. The bag holder should bend at the waist until the elbows are resting on the knees while he/she is holding the bag open. The shoveler should use rounded scoops of fill until the bag is approximately 1/3 full. While shoveling, avoid extra movements (turning or twisting the back) as this will tire you out sooner.

Sandbag Construction

The use of sandbags is a simple but effective method of preventing or reducing damage from flood water or debris. Suggestions for constructing sandbags follows:

  1. Close-weave burlap bags are recommended for all sandbag construction
  2. Fold over the empty top of the bag in a triangle to keep sand from leaking
  3. Place each bag over the folded top of the preceding bag and stomp into place before placing the next layer of bags
  4. Stagger the second layer of bags, stomping each bag into place before placing the next
  5. Stomp each succeeding layer of bags
  6. Methods for Flood Fighting Around Structures

    The main causes of damages to homes and property during heavy rains or flood flows are:

  7. Flood water from street gutters or drains, particularly on sloping streets, flood flows onto property through driveway opening, and low spots on curbs
  8. Debris from hillsides that have been denuded by fire or real estate development

The flood-fighting methods described in the following paragraphs have proved effective in combating flood waters and flood flows. If the exposed area producing mud flows is not too large, covering it with visquine can help reduce the movement of additional material from future rainstorms.

Protection of Slopes

The "raincoat" method is used to prevent further saturation of levee or hillside slopes. Visquine is laid out flat on the slope, and stakes are driven into the ground just above the area to be protected. The stakes are 4 feet apart with a 1 foot stagger. The visquine is secured to the stakes with ty-down buttons or small round rocks.

Use a criss-cross method of placing the sandbags or substitute tires foe the sandbags. Place a solid row of sandbags on all edges of the visquine (half on ground, half on the visquine).

Diverting Water Away From Homes

Homes may often be protected from flood water by redirecting the water flow. Barriers will divert the water flow away from the structure. The sandbags or wooden barriers must be placed at an angle and must be long enough to divert the flowing water into the street gutter.

To prevent or reduce property damage, walls of lumber or sandbags are constructed to channel the mud and debris away from any improvements.

Protection of Home or Structure

The following method is used for protection of buildings and other structures along lake shores and in similar situations where water is rising with little or no current.

Lay visquine on the ground and up the building walls to a point at least 1 foot above the predicted water elevation, and far enough out on the ground to form a half pyramid of sandbags. Secure plywood over doors and vents. Overlap visquine and sandbags at corners of buildings.

Filling sandbags is a two-person operation: One member of the team should place the empty bag between or slightly in front of wide-spread feet with arms extended. The throat of the bag is folded to form a collar and held with the hands in a position that will enable the other team member to empty a rounded shovel full of material into the open end. The person holding the sack should be standing with knees slightly flexed and head and face as far away from the action of the shovel as practical.

The shoveler should carefully release the rounded shovel full of soil into the throat of the bag. Haste in this operation can result in undue spillage and added work. The use of safety goggles and gloves is desirable and sometimes necessary.

For large scale operations, filling sandbags can be expedited by using bag holding racks, metal funnels, and power loading equipment. However, the special equipment required is not always available during an emergency.

Bags should not be filled more than half full or less than one-third their capacity.

 

L'il Bagger completely eliminates the back-breaking work of hand shovelling.


Protection of Water or Sewer System

Water or sewer systems can be protected by placing corrugated metal pipe (CMP) over the manhole. Lay visquine up the walls of the CMP and place sandbags in the form of a half pyramid around the CMP to seal it to the pavement. In a nonpaved area, concrete can be placed in a shallow trench. CMP is then set in the concrete. Visquine and sandbags are placed around the CMP. This method will prevent mud and debris from entering the system and also act as a surge chamber.

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