The Department of Public Works’ policy in regard to the distribution of sandbags to the public during emergencies is to assist homeowners or small businesses that may experience flooding during heavy storms.Public works will know who to call ie: “911”. The Flood Control District, Fire Department, or other easily available services in an emergency for expert help.
Maintenance will provide enough sandbags to protect the average home or store from flooding, which is about 25.Over 25 bags, the owner may need advice since he may build dikes that divert water onto his neighbors; or he may need something better than sandbagging.During emergency periods, Public works will furnish engineering advice, free of charge, once the request is recieved by telephone and arrangements can be made to meet the party in the field.
Sandbags, when properly filled and placed, will redirect storm and debris flows away from property improvements.
Fill sandbags one-half full. Sand is suggested if readily available; however, sand is not mandatory, and any local soil may be used.
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.
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
controlling debris or storm flows in streets
directing flows between buildings
sliding glass door sealing
Sandbags will not seal out water.
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.
Sandbags are basically for low-flow protection (up to two feet). Protection from higher flows requires a more permanent type of structure.
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.
Sand and sandbags are available to West Covina residents (24-hours) at the following locations:
Fire Station No. 1 819 S. Sunset Avenue West Covina, CA 91790
Fire Station No. 2 2441 E. Cortez Avenue West Covina, CA 90791
Fire Station No. 4 1815 S. Azusa Avenue West Covina, CA 91792
Fire Station No. 5 2650 E. Shadow Oak Drive West Covina, CA 91792
For further information, please contact the following:
Building and Engineering Divisions (626) 939-8425
Maintenance Division (626) 939-8458
Sandbags are also available at Los Angeles County fire stations under the following guidelines:
a) 1 to 25 bags – no questions asked
b) 26 to 100 bags – Requires telephone call to (626) 458-4306 or (626) 458-4313 for verification of appropriate and safe usage of sandbags. See “Approved” and “Disapproved” usages below.
c) More than 100 – Requires written verification such as an engineering advice form and/or site inspection by a Department Engineer.
APPROVED USAGES FOR CountySandbags:
1. Protection of private residences from flooding.
2. Protection of shops and small businesses from flooding
DISAPPROVED USAGES for County sandbags:
Tract development and erosion control.
Large quantities for ocean front protection against wave action. This is usually not effective, and a waste of sandbags.
1444 West Garvey Avenue West Covina, CA 91790. (626) 939-8400