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Proper sandbag usage
Times Standard,

More rain is in the forecast and Humboldt County residents in flood threatened areas can help minimize damage by filling and stacking sandbags, but doing it safely.

The Humboldt County Sheriff's Department released a step-by-step guide on how to fill and stack the sandbags properly.

First, it takes two to fill a sandbag -- one to hold the sandbag open and another to shovel in the sand. The bag holder should bend at the waist and rest their elbows on their knees. The shoveler should put the first scoop at the edge of the bag to keep it open and fill the rest of the bag a one-third full.

Then, fold over the end of the bag in a triangle to stop sand from leaking out. Close-knit, burlap bags work best.

While stacking, place a line of bags with the folded side up and the folded edges facing the direction of water flow. After the bag is placed, stomp on it to wedge it in tighter. Then, just like bricks, the next line should be stacked over the folded tops of the bags underneath.

The base of the sandbag wall should be 1.5 times wider than the height, for example 6 feet wide by 4 feet high.

The Sheriff's Department also released a list of steps on how to fight the rising waters safely:

* Make sure someone is monitoring the river while others are making sandbags so no one is taken by surprise by rapidly rising water. Flood fighting should be stopped when the safety of workers is compromised. Saving property is not as important as saving lives.

* Don't fight floods near swift water.

* Be aware of animals fleeing to higher ground and don't try to handle them.

* Try to wear protective clothing to help limit exposure to contaminated water and wash thoroughly after working around flood water.

* Have someone watch others for signs of exhaustion. Have workers rotate out of the more vigorous tasks and make sure breaks are taken.

* Try to make sure safety precautions are taken and avoid lifting and twisting at the same time. Watch for slippery surfaces and tripping hazards and never step into water of an unknown depth.

* Be aware of downed power lines, gas or propane leaks and unstable structures.

* If you can, wear rain gear, warm clothing, hand-held lights, gloves, goggles, a hard-hat and boots. Also, have a first aid kit, ropes, flotation devices and hip boots available.


Humboldt County Sources for:

Sand:

Granite Construction
Arcata, Carlotta, Scotia
441-1306


Eureka Ready Mix
4945 Boyd Road
Arcata
822-1795


Eureka Ready Mix
1955 Hilfiker Lane
Eureka
443-2791


Eureka Ready Mix
U.S. Highway 101
Alton
725-4417


Mercer Frasier
Willow Creek
530-629-2140
Fortuna River Walk Dr.
725-2326
Fortuna Dinsmore Dr.
725-2151
Dinsmore
574-6343
Cooks Valley
247-3417
 

Hoopa Tribal Plant
530-629-3739


Randall Sand and Gravel
Sprowel Creek Road
Garberville
923-2820


Green Wes Landscape Materials
1260 Guintolli Lane
Arcata
822-8035


Wildwood Feed Co.
770 Wildwood Avenue
Rio Dell
764-3216

 

Sandbags:

A & L Feeds
2308 Central Avenue
McKinleyville
839-3265


Nilsen Co.
502 Broadway Eureka
442-3741
424 Main Street Ferndale
786-9501


Redway Feed
290 Briceland Road
Redway
923-2765


Farm Store
3956 Jacobs Avenue
Eureka
443-7397


Main Street Feed
1635 Main Street
Fortuna
725-5565


Wildwood Feed Co.
770 Wildwood Avenue
Rio Dell
764-3216


Three G's Hay and Grain
5307 Boyd Road
Arcata
826-9537