Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Plastic Can Help Keep Flood from Your Door

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Plastic Can Help Keep Flood from Your Door

Article excerpt

No time to sandbag? Try wrapping your house with plastic to protect it from high water.

This method is being demonstrated by the University Extension at its office in St. Peters. While the suggestion may be too late for some and impractical for others, it could save the homes of many in this area as they prepare for the return this weekend of rising rivers and flash-flooding along creeks.

"It's a short-term protection for flash-flooding," said Charles Ellis, a natural resources specialist with the agency.

The first step is to dig a trench one shovel wide and one shovel deep around the house. Then, lay a perforated PVC pipe in the trench to carry seepage water to a sump to be pumped out. Next, backfill the trench with sand.

Door and window openings must be covered with plywood. Then, tape or nail polyethylene film to the side of the house, usually up to a height of 4 feet.

The plastic barrier should hold back 2 to 3 feet of water, said Ellis.

David Baker, assistant program director, said that although the plastic could keep the water at bay for about a week, "the real intent is for the short term, about two days. …

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