Evaluation of temporary flood-fighting structures

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Sandbags have traditionally been the product of choice for temporary, barrier-type, flood-fighting structures. However, sandbag structures are labor intensive and time consuming to construct and may not always be the best choice when selecting a flood-fighting barrier. To compare different barriers, the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) developed a standard protocol to evaluate flood-fighting structures. Rapid Deployment Flood Wall (RDFW), Portadam, and Hesco Bastion were selected for testing based on technical merit from proposals submitted by companies that manufacture barrier-type, flood-fighting products. A standard sandbag structure was also tested. The evaluation included time, ease, and cost of construction, performance under hydrostatic and wave loading, overtopping, debris impact, possible repair, reuse, environmental impact, and cost. The results of the evaluation showed that the RDFW performed well but is more expensive than the other structures and also not easy to dis-assemble. The Portadam was efficient under hydraulic loading but did not test well in the debris impact tests. The Hesco levee performed well except for the amount of seepage that was observed. The Hesco levee was later retested after the company improved the product, and much less seepage was observed during the retest. The sandbag levee failed during the overtopping test. These results provide the flood-fighting community with results that will assist in the selection of the product that best fits their need.




Wibowo, J. L., & Ward, D. L. (2016). Evaluation of temporary flood-fighting structures. In E3S Web of Conferences (Vol. 7). EDP Sciences. https://doi.org/10.1051/e3sconf/20160703017

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