Category Archives: Multi-Purpose Reservoirs

Multi-Purpose Reservoirs

Corps sandbag filler saves labor, helps communities in need

The hydraulic sandbag filler was loaned to Tulsa District Communities in Grove, Oklahoma, Durant, Texas and Wagoner, Oklahoma. Wagoner was able to build 500 sandbags in 50 minutes with the machine, and will serve as the distribution center for sandbags.
The hydraulic sandbag filler was loaned to Tulsa District Communities in Grove, Oklahoma, Durant, Texas and Wagoner, Oklahoma. Wagoner was able to build 500 sandbags in 50 minutes with the machine, and will serve as the distribution center for sandbags.

Brannen Parrish
Tulsa District
Public Affairs Office

 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been using and providing communities with sandbags for more than 100 years, but building sandbags is labor-intensive.

As a results of recent flooding in Oklahoma and Texas, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provided a hydraulic sandbag filling machine, on loan from the Corps’ Kansas District, to help Oklahoma and Texas Communities with the bag-building process.

The hydraulic filler and its two-man crew spent one day in Grove, Oklahoma, and two days in Durant, Texas, before being sent to Wagoner, Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management determined Wagoner would be the central sandbag distribution center.

In the first 50 minutes of operation the machine and community volunteers built 500 sandbags.

“We had volunteers come from all over the county,” said Heath Underwood, emergency manager for Wagoner County.

“We had the Coweta football team come in,” added Underwood, “We asked for volunteers and they all just started coming in.”

Those volunteers, said Gary Cain, one of two sandbag machine operators sent from Kansas City to set up the hydraulic filler, are as important as the machine itself.

“You need the volunteers to tie and stack the bags” said Gary Cain, a crane operator with the Kansas City District, who works with the sandbag filling machine during emergency operations. “The more volunteers you have the more you can put the bags out, the easier it is.”

The Wagoner County Emergency Management Office now has 8,000 sandbags. Some will be placed into storage for future use, while the rest will be picked up by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and delivered to sites around the region.

The machine and crew were able to return to Kansas City, June 1.

“It really helped my guys out and relieved the pressure on us. The people came in, pulled together and helped us out,” said Underwood.

In addition to sandbags, the Tulsa District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers managed water releases from more than 50 reservoirs in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas during the May rain event.

“We believe we’ve been able to save lives and infrastructure with our system of reservoirs,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Young, Deputy Commander, Tulsa District. “The people who operate, manage and maintain our structures worked long hours to safely guide us through this event.”


After record crest, The Little Rock District begins process of lowering Millwood Lake

Millwood Lake
Millwood Lake

ASHDOWN, Ark. – The Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District began larger releases from Millwood Lake after flood waters downstream receded.  Millwood crested June 14 at 282.9 feet, a new pool of record elevation.  The Corps will continue to increase releases from Millwood, as channel capacity allows, until the lake elevation is back down to elevation 259 feet, the top of its conservation pool.

Currently, 38,500 cubic feet per second of captured flood water is being released from Millwood Lake.  This amount will change as the Red River conditions change in accordance with the Millwood Lake water control plan.

“We are coordinating closely with the Tulsa and Vicksburg districts to ensure that our releases don’t increase the risk of flooding downstream,” said Hydrologic Engineer Aaron Short. “Millwood Lake is doing its job of holding storm runoff until we can release it in a controlled manner once we have channel capacity downstream.”

Daily river information can be obtained at www.swl-wc.usace.army.mil or the Corps’ mobile App which can be found in mobile App stores by searching for USACE Little Rock.

Little Rock District news and recreation information can be found at www.about.me/usacelittlerock.