County DPW Offers Sandbagging Tips

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Hawai‘i County is susceptible to flooding from hurricanes and heavy rain events during which streams, rivers and drainage channels can flood quickly with little warning, a release from the county Department of Public Works warned.

The best way to protect from flooding is to be prepared. The county generally does not provide sandbags to the public. If your residence is prone to flooding, please be proactive and have your sandbags in place before flooding occurs. Sandbags are available at a variety of hardware and home building supply stores across the island or online and can be filled with sand or soil.

Using Sandbags to Protect your Property:

  • Placing sandbags around your home can help direct water away from your house. However, sandbags alone are not enough to protect a structure. Use plastic sheeting or tarps in addition to sandbags to prevent water from entering your home. Note, Chapter 10 of Hawai‘i County Code prohibits altering drainage patterns with respect to abutting properties.
  • Doors are the most common area to place sandbags. Because sandbags alone will not keep all the water out, it’s best to protect and anchor plastic sheeting with sandbags around doorways.
  • Use a plastic tarp between the house and sandbags to help keep water from seeping into the structure. If placing plastic sheeting over a door, leave an overhang of 3-4 inches on each side.
  • Fill your sandbags halfway full with sand or soil and tie at the top. Sandbags should weigh about 35-40 pounds. Bags that are filled too full or with too little sand will not lie flat and may allow water to pass through a barricade.
  • Fold the top of the sandbag and place it facing down so that the sandbag rests on top of the folded part. Place the sandbags as you would a row of bricks closely together so there are no gaps in between. Limit sandbag height to 2-3 layers.

Read the county’s sandbag tips fact sheet and learn about additional flood awareness safety information at



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