Aqua Dam Flood Control - Spring 2011
LOCATION: On the Canadian Prairies (Location withheld by owner’s request)
TIMEFRAME: Spring of 2011
SCOPE OF WORK: Aqua Dam for Flood Control
PROJECT PARTNERS: Installation: Local road crews Material supplier: Layfield
When flooding occurs one of the biggest problems is that roads to communities can be cut off. This makes it difficult to get supplies to the community. It also makes it difficult to get things out of the flooded area. Often it is the risk of a road closure that will lead to the evacuation of a community which adds considerable cost to flood fighting efforts. Once a community is cut off supplies have to be ferried in by boat or by helicopter which is very expensive. Keeping roads open during floods has not been common in the past as the volunteers needed to sandbag a long narrow road have rarely been available.
Aqua Dams for flood control are an excellent way to keep roads open in flooded areas for as long as possible. This allows supplies to get in and people to get out as the flood water rise. It reduces the demand on scarce resources such as boats and helicopters and keeps people in their homes and out of emergency accommodations. Aqua Dams can be installed with a minimum of effort requiring only two people, a pickup, pumps, and small tools. The dams can quickly be moved to the location at risk and often inflated in a single day. Aqua Dams also require minimal cleanup as the dams can be deflated by the same small crew and stored for reuse in future floods.
In this instance the Aqua Dams were used to maintain truck access to an industrial park. Without this connection trucks would need to travel 84 more kilometers to go around the affected area. Aqua Dams 3ft (0.9 m) high were used to line both sides of this two lane highway. The Aqua Dams were placed on the shoulders of the road and reduced the road to one lane. The local transportation people controlled the traffic on the road so that essential supplies got through. Only truck traffic was allowed on this controlled section.
Keeping essential supplies moving is very important in a flood. Imagine if these trucks were carrying needed supplies to an isolated town. You can see that supply trucks carrying food and other essential materials could easily move down this road. In this picture you can also see stock trucks on the road. Livestock trapped in flooded areas can be very expensive to deal with and keeping the road open provides additional options.
Aqua Dam for flood control is the ideal solution for maintaining access to communities in a flood situation where roads need to be kept open for as long as possible.
Special thanks to Joe Neyron of East St Paul Manitoba for sending in these pictures.