DDOT says, “District Bracing for More Storms” – Dear PoP: What will 4 Sandbags Do?

Photo by PoPville flickr user Jess J

“Dear PoP,

Anticipating today’s rain, the dept of public works was handing out sandbags last night. However, each household was limited to 4, yes FOUR sandbags…Four sandbags would do what, exactly?…!?!?!

The District Department of Public Works will once again be handing out sandbags Wednesday. D.C. residents may pick up sandbags up to four per household at its New Jersey Avenue and K Street, SE site. (The entrance is on New Jersey at I Street, SE.) The sandbags, which weigh between 40 and 50 lbs, can be picked up until 8 p.m. Residents will need to load them into their vehicles.”

Has anyone gotten the sandbags? If you only get four where should you place them for greatest effect?

From a press release:

Heavy rains caused flooding, road closures and other problems this morning, and weather forecasts are predicting more wet weather could hit the District during this evening’s rush hour. The National Weather service says heavy rainfall is possible and a flood watch remains in effect.

Residents and commuters are reminded to use caution in storm conditions. Flash floods from small creeks and streams can inundate highways, streets and underpasses as well as other drainage areas and low lying spots. Please do not drive through high water; turn around and find a safer route.

Flooding was the major problem reported across the region this morning. In the District, standing water forced the temporary closure of several roadways including Canal Road, which remains closed at this time between Foxhall Road and Arizona Avenue. Fortunately, only a handful of traffic signals lost power and only a few downed trees were reported. Please continue to call 311 to report storm-related damage.

For frequent updates on road conditions in the District, please follow us on Twitter @DDOTDC.

8 Comment

  • Home Depot has all you can by – 60 LB bags – for $4 a pop. (No pun intended)

  • Four sandbags will do quite a bit when placed at the threshold of a door that may see water a few inches high. They will not stop the water from trickling in, but will prevent a massive gush inside your house from water rushing past. If you have multiple entrances that could use sand bags you may need more. No, these will not prevent water from backing up out of your basement drains, or leaks from overflowing gutters, or 3 foot high torrents in your driveway, but they aren’t intended to. The city is providing a FREE service to help out residents who probably saw problems last week. I wouldn’t expect them to give you enough sand bags to build a WWII machine gun nest around your front door.

  • Yes on the threshold barrier – that is the main source of flooding for most people. Even if you’ve checked your outside drains, alleys may overflow and pour in.

    If you don’t have sandbags though, you can wrap a shower curtain, or even plastic garbage bags around stacks of newspaper – tubs of kittly litter – whatever is heavy and solid. Build a little wall.

    If it is a hallway – build a few feet back from the door to leave room for the water to pool. This can make a huge difference. – Yes, I lived way too long in group-house basements. . .

  • It is the HOMEOWNER’S responsibility to waterproof their home. The District sandbag program is merely a courtesy. It’s not meant to build a dike around every home. If your house needs more than the four-sandbag allotment, you’ve got bigger issues than the taxpayers of DC should have to fund.

  • It’s never quite good enough is it?

    You are living in the capital city of the wealthiest nation in the world and you are reading about the free sandbags given to you by the city using technology that allows you to access the information from the whole world on a tiny device you carry around with you.

    Put it in perspective. Sit on your porch in the rain, have a glass of whine and watch videos fromt he flooding in Pakistan on your iphone.

  • I picked up some sandbags from DPW yesterday morning to bolster our backdoor after a disasterous flood into our basement last week. The guys at DPW were very nice and helped me load the sandbags into the car. The 4 bags were more than enough to create a treshold barrier for the backdoor. Props to DC!

  • Hey, but I want to build a machine gun nest. Wait, are guns legal in this city that wants statehood? Barely.

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