Thursday, December 1, 2016

Preparing for Winter Storms with Sandbags

Even though the start of winter is right around the corner, La Habra Heights’ residents can pick up sandbags at the Fire Department or City all year round. The sandbags will need to be filled. Sand is available at the back parking lot at The Park. Residents will need to bring a shovel to fill bags. 

Sandbags, when properly filled and placed, will redirect storm and debris flows away from property improvements.

  1. Fill sandbags one-half full. Sand is suggested if readily available; however, sand is not mandatory, and any local soil may be used.
  2. For a more durable bag with increased effective life, mix 10 parts of sand or soil with one part of cement. The materials can be mixed and placed dry. After all bags are in place, a light sprinkling of water is recommended. This technique is only effective with burlap sandbags and will not work with plastic sandbags.


Fold top of sandbag down and rest bag on its folded top as shown in the illustration on the right.

It is important to place bags with the folded top toward the upstream or uphill direction to prevent bags from opening when water runs by them.

Stacking Sandbags

Care should be taken to stack sandbags in accordance with the illustrations. Place each sandbag as shown, completing each layer prior to starting the next layer. Limit placement to two layers unless a building is used as a backing or sandbags are pyramided (see illustrations below).
Sandbag Stacking Against Buildings

Pyramid Sandbag Stacking

Directing Debris Away From Buildings 
  1. Sandbags will not seal out water. 
  2. Sand and soil filled burlap sandbags deteriorate when exposed for several months to continued wetting and drying. If bags are placed too early, they may not be effective when needed. 
  3. Sandbags are basically for low-flow protection (up to two feet). Protection from higher flows requires a more permanent type of structure.
Controlling Debris or Storm Flows in Streets 

Directing Flows Between Buildings 

Building Protection

   Sliding Glass Door Sealing



Do not use straw or bales of hay in lieu of sandbags. They do not perform as well as sandbags and may be washed away.

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