Sep 10, 2013 9:33 PM by Bill Folsom

Colorado flooding brings barriers beyond basic sandbags

High tech is meeting high water in Southern Colorado. A small Woodland Park excavating company unintentionally pushed into the flood mitigation business is installing a flood water barricade system that is a major upgrade from old school sandbags. "Sandbags have their purpose, but this for total protection, it does a much better job," said Mallett Excavating Owner, Rick Mallett

The product they use is called R.I.B.S. or Rapid Installation Barrier System. It was developed in the southeast to combat rising rivers, but was also tested by hydrologists at Colorado State. Rather than individual pieces filled with sand and stacked, it is an accordion system of compartments which lowers the changes of a weak spot in the wall. "With it all being tied together there's no weak link," said Mallett. Geometry and physics are also part of the design. "They're a trapezoid shape," said co-owner, Anne Mallett, "The physics of that is that when the water hits it, it presses down on the bag and keeps it in place."

Systems they have recently installed were put to the test with one of the recent flashfloods. "We got to see these actually work and they did a great job," said Mallett.





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