Flood & Erosion Protection




Blog (17)

NOAA Severe Weather

Weekends are a great time to get things done, or enjoy the end of summer, but be careful if you live around certain parts of the Gulf Coast, Lower Mississippi Valley, Southern Plains, or Great Lakes area. Flash floods and severe storms are headed your way starting Friday, August 12, 2016 and going into the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

Please use caution when making plans and traveling this weekend if you are in any of the effected areas.

Weather Channel doppler

Flood warnings and watches have been issued for a number of states in the US including:

Parts of Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia (http://www.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=mrx&wwa=all)
Parts if Illinois (http://www.whas11.com/weather/flood-warning_47212475/282467185)
Parts of Northern Texas (http://www.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=fwd&wwa=all)

In addition there have been Flash Flood warnings and watches for several states in the US including:

Parts of Montana (http://www.shorelinemedia.net/ap-mo--ksgf-mo-flash-flood-warning-mo/article_54d944f3-524e-55d6-801a-530bf279a746.html)
Parts of Arkansas (http://weatheralerts.alertblogger.com/?p=34608)
Many of these areas have already suffered extensive damge due to flooding earlier in the year, and some are seeing more than they have in decades. Illinois, for example, has recently broken the all time record set in 1875, according the the Indy Star. In addition there are storms moving through parts of the Southeast, along with those areas already listed.  
For detailed weather information in your area, you can check with the National Weather Service, or with the Weather Channel

Six miles of TrapBag cellular containment barriers installed at strategic locations in Fargo, N.D., helped make this year’s flooding of the Red River of the North one of the least damaging in years. Fargo officials are crediting new and alternative protective measures, as well as better planning and preparation time, for the improvements in flood protection.

“The strength and unique design of TrapBag® barriers make them especially useful for the annual flooding that Fargo endures, they performed very well,” said Everett “Buzz” Waid, inventor of the patent-pending TrapBag brand of quick-install barriers, and president of Sentinel Barriers. “Plus, the city significantly reduced the number of traditional sandbags it needed.”

The Fort Myers-based company was awarded the contract to provide and oversee the installment of six miles of the TrapBag cellular containment systems in mid March. Sentinel Barriers devised the system.


What is Flood Mitigation?

Flood mitigation is the way communities provide protection. Hazard mitigation means that authorities are taking action to reduce the future risk and working on ways to reduce future damage. In recent years there has been a noticeable rise in flooding.

rebuilding sand dune after storm surge  Coastal communities have always had to deal with hurricanes and with the crush of development on or near the coast line communities need to create a flood mitigation plan and provide resources to help minimize the impact of floods. While we can’t always predict a storm, one can always prepare.

Communities need to take a look at:

  • Flooding Risk prone areas
  • Assessments of risk and vulnerable areas
  • Create plan of actions to shore up against flooding risks.

One of the first steps invoices understanding the risk of flooding. Is storm surge the big risk? What about sheet flow from after the storm or heavy rain? Next create a plan that involves the management and control of flood waters giving the flooding a safe escape path. Finally it’s about executing the plan and monitoring the next storm then making adjustments as needed. TrapBags® are the perfect solution to divert not only flood waters but mud debris flow as well. Once the flooding risk are understood communities need to create a plan of action.

Hurricane Preparedness is key when facing a weather event.  While Meteorologists can’t always predict the path of a Hurricane(also called Cyclones or Typhoons) or tropical storm; one can always plan ahead and be prepared. From food and water needs to protecting your home with TrapBag barrier bags to help minimize the effects from storm surge or torrential downpours.

radar image hurricane charlie

If you live or work in an area where the incidence of hurricanes is high during a particular season, you should have a plan in place to be prepared. If you own a business, you will need to have a plan that takes into account your personnel and facilities. Every member of your staff should know in advance what his or her responsibilities are in the event of a hurricane.

Make a list of all the tasks that must be done to protect your premises during a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning. Then outline how these tasks will be carried out and who will be responsible for each one. Explain these tasks to your staff during a pre-hurricane season meeting, and make sure everyone is “on the same page.”

If your facility is in a storm surge inundation zone or is unsafe during high winds or in an area that is always evacuated during a hurricane watch or warning, prepare to evacuate. Make sure there is a plan in place to retrieve computers and other valuables, and to store them in a safe location.
If you have inventory or furniture at floor level that could be damaged, plan to relocate it and identify who will do it, how and where. Plan to bring any outside equipment or furniture indoors and find a place for it. Remember to secure anything that could blow away, such as trash cans, signs, awnings and tools. Anchor anything you cannot bring inside, such as a tool shed. Make sure everyone in your business knows how to operate and turn on and off the electricity, gas and water mains.

Unless your house sits at the highest point atop a mountain and your yard slopes downward, you are a potential victim of house flooding.

That doesn’t mean it’s time to give up and buy a houseboat. You have options to protect the place from floods.

If you chose to do nothing, well you made a choice. By doing nothing and you most likely will be sloshing around carpeting that was soaked in storm water. This will create an unpleasant smelly carpeting. In addition to that there will be damage furniture, walls, appliances, lighting, and ruined electronics and keepsakes. Lastly mold soon follows.

You’ll find yourself ripping out walls to reach soaked insulation, tearing up flooring and replacing anything electrical.

There’s only one real way to avoid this: stay above the water line.

“You may not always be able to predict a flooding event; however, you can always prepare.”

Flood Control System In Place to Protect School and County Infrastructure

Colorado Springs, CO, Wednesday, August 15, 2012 – The El Paso County Public Services Department put the finishing touches on the Ute Pass Elementary Drainage Project on Monday. The four-day project included the installation of 500 linear feet of a flood control system by TrapBag to prevent flood waters from flowing into the school and maintenance to the drainage area adjacent to Chipita Park Road. Mud flow and debris flow redirection

More photos can be seen on the El Paso County Facebook page.

During a July rain storm in the Waldo Canyon Fire burn area, flood waters came down Sand Gulch pushing debris, logs, and even a horse trailer, down the drainage area, or pour point. The flood pushed mud out of the drainage channel over Ute Pass Elementary’s playground and even into the building.

On Tuesday, Commissioner Sallie Clark, who represents the Ute Pass area, and County engineering staff, met onsite at Ute Pass Elementary with nearby residents to discuss flooding issues. “The TrapBag system is a partnership with School District 14 to protect public infrastructure from additional flooding damage,” said Clark. “In addition, neighbors learned how this system will channel future storm events and were provided the opportunity to exchange information and ideas about potential drainage improvements in the area to prevent further damage.”


“Once the anchors are in place, you drive large nails into them to stabilize the hill,” said Singh. The nail-and-anchor placement is determined by the degree angle of the slope. “This technique seems to work well in mitigating slides.”mud debris flow landslide

They also utilize retaining walls. “This is usually the easiest solution,” says Singh, “but whether we pour concrete or lay brick will depend on the site and its accessibility, as these factors can limit your choices.”

He cites this example. “Rainfall in Seattle, Washington, can be extremely heavy. One of our customers had a 30-foot slope in his backyard. He went to bed as it started to rain. The next morning, he discovered the 30-foot slope was now an eight-foot one. Most of it had turned to mud, which had flowed into the street, blocking it.”

“After the city cleared away the debris,” continues Singh, “we went in and removed some of the more unstable soil. But the area was still too unstable for us to bring any kind of equipment in. We finally had to bring in a crane and lift it up 100 feet in the air to place it on a flat area at the top of the slide.” To hold the hill, they installed a 15- foot-high, 8-foot-wide retaining wall. The wall was then backfilled with clean rock for proper drainage.

Because different areas of land have different soil compositions, as well as varying slopes and geographic characteristics, it can be tough to determine how prone to mudslides an area might be. As mentioned previously, they can hit any time of the year and without any warning. “The only thing we do know is that they’re known to recur in areas previously hit by mudslides,” said Highland.

Not surprisingly, past history also shows that mudslides are more likely to occur when hillsides or slopes are heavily saturated with runoff from rainwater or snow melt. Interestingly, though, it has recently been discovered that mudslides occur more frequently when precipitation resumes after a pause than they do during steady rainfalls.

mudslide protectionDebris flows are hazardous because of their poor predictability, high impact forces, and ability to deposit large quantities of sediment in inundated areas. To minimize the risk to developments on alluvial fans,

debris-flow mitigation structures may be required. This study reviewed the state of practice for the design of two types of debris-flow mitigation structures: basins and deflection berms. Published guidelines for these
structures are rare, and there appears to be little standardization. Recommended design improvements, particularly for fire-related debris flows, include incorporating several recent developments in debrisflow
mitigation design, reducing subjectivity, and enhancing the technical basis for the designs. Specific shortcomings of existing design methodologies include techniques for predicting debris-flow volume, specifications
for berm geometry, impact loading considerations, and lack of flexibility in outlet works design, among others. Proposed solutions and guidelines for these issues are presented.


El Paso Colorado Flood and Wildfire Study

 TrapBag, A flood barrier keeps the Missouri River floodwaters from inundating Highway 30 just outside of Blair, Nebraska. The trap bags are critical in keeping one of the few remaining highways open between Nebraska, Iowa, and the I-29 Interstate Highway system. Jace Anderson/FEMA - Location: Blair, NE

flooding road protection


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