Flood Protection Sandbagging VS Temporary flood walls
Sandbagging has been the go-to emergency flood defense technique for years, but thanks to new technology, the development of HYDRA flood fighting procedures has dramatically changed.
Sandbags have additional disadvantages including that without proper training, sandbag walls can be constructed improperly causing them to fail at a lower height than expected. They can degrade prematurely in the sun and elements once deployed. Sandbags also become contaminated by sewage in flood waters making them difficult to deal with after flood waters recede. Sandbag structures do not prevent water seepage and therefore should be built with the central purpose of diverting flood water around or away from buildings. Because of the intensive effort and amount of time required to provide protection even from relatively shallow water, sandbag walls are not a reliable protection measure.
However, the biggest drawbacks are the cost, labor and time requirements needed to construct any amount of wall. For example, according to the USACE each sandbag costs between $3 to $6 per bag. A 4’ high wall, one mile long would take 411,000 sandbags at $4.50 each would total $1,849,500.00 and require 35,000-man hours to construct.