The City of Falls Church is offering to loan residents sandbags in response to the Washington, D.C. metro area’s flood watch warning.
According to a press release from the City, up to 20 sandbags will be available for loan per household on a first-come, first-serve basis from Property Yard A, located between 215 and 217 Gordon Road Recycling Center, until 3 p.m. today, Feb. 6.
Sandbags must be returned to the distribution site following the storm.
Sandbags are useful for mitigating significant flows of water, but should not be counted on to prevent all potential water damage.
- Remove any debris from the area where bags are to be placed.
- If tied bags are used, flatten them and flare the tied end. If untied bags are used, fold the open end to form a triangle.
- To form a sandbag wall, place bags tightly against one another to form the first layer of defense.
- Place succeeding bags on the folded or flared portion of the previous bag and stamp into place to eliminate gaps and to form a tight seal.
- Stagger the second and subsequent layers of bags, similar to the pattern of bricks on a wall.
- Never use bags to build a fortress around your property because this approach can trap water between sandbag walls and structures, causing further damage.
- Do not rely on sandbags alone to protect your property. Use baffle boards (plywood sheeting) or sheets of plastic tarp with sandbags.
According to the National Weather Service’s Flood Watch warning, periods of rainfall will continue to occur through early Friday. The heaviest rainfall potential will begin this afternoon and continue into this evening. Storm total rainfall amounts through Friday morning are expected to range between one and two inches with isolated amounts near three inches possible.
Flooding of poor drainage and low lying areas will be possible, and some smaller streams and rivers may exceed their banks.