The County keeps a limited supply of sandbags to provide to residents during flood emergencies. These materials can be found at the Yuba County Public Works yard, located adjacent to the Yuba County Airport at 1420 Sky Harbor Drive in Olivehurst. If you live in a low-lying area, it is strongly recommended that you purchase or make sandbags. Sandbags and sandbag supplies may be purchased through local hardware stores. Check with your retailer for more information.
How to Make a Sandbag
Sandbags can be used to fill in low-lying areas around your property and to redirect water away from your home. Here's how to make and use sandbags:
- Gather the following supplies from a hardware or home improvement store -- cloth or plastic sandbags, polyethylene sheeting, sand, a shovel and a wheelbarrow.
- Plan to work with another person. One person should hold the bag while the other one fills it.
- Fill the sandbag one-quarter to one-half full with sand. It should weigh about 40 lbs.
- Fold the empty part of the bag over (don't use the ties). Be sure that when you place the bag, the folded-over side is facing down, so that no water will seep in. If one bag leaks, the whole pile will be ruined.
- Dig a trench around the area you want to protect. (The standard trench is usually 4 to 6 inches deep and 18 to 24 inches wide.)
- Lay the polyethylene sheeting in the trench and secure it with several sandbags. The sandbags should be placed in the direction of the water flow, and there should be no space in between bags.
- Complete one row before you begin the next.
- Stagger the second row on top of the first (similar to the way that bricks are staggered in a wall). This system provides added protection.
- Limit your stack to three layers of sandbags, since any more may not be sturdy.
Quick tutorial video on filling and stacking sandbags
Drowning is the number one cause of deaths during a flood event. Remember the following:
- Never walk or drive through flowing water.
- Shallow, but fast-moving water can knock you off your feet. Even 12 inches of water – just a foot – is enough to lift a car off the ground and carry it into deeper, faster moving water. The depth of the water is not always obvious, especially if the road has been washed out.
- Follow the recommended evacuation route. Don’t attempt to take shortcuts or go around safety barriers, or you may end up in harm's way. The barriers are there for a reason.
- Be careful driving at night, when flood hazards are more difficult to identify.
- Watch and listen for updates and changes to evacuation routes.