The humble sandbag remains mankind’s main line of defense against floods. Take the current situation in Fargo, N.D., where upwards of 10,000 Good Samaritans are furiously filling bags in order to combat the rising Red River. Working around the clock, the volunteers have so far managed to deploy about 70 percent of the requisite sandbags—seemingly good news, save for the fact that Mother Nature will not be repelled by anything less than 100 percent coverage. She’s crafty like that.
But North Dakotan officials are trying out a secret weapon: Hesco Bastion’s Concertainer, a portable wall system that makes sandbagging seem like weaving on a loom. Over a thousand yards worth of wall can be unspooled in under an hour; the empty partitions are then filled with sand, preferably using industrial machinery. But even going the ol’ shovel route is faster than filling sandbags, since there’s no need to tie off then set down after each bag is filled.
The Concertainer was recently used to protect Operation Enduring Freedom soldiers from sniper attacks. Will it work against the Red River, too? Water moves a bit slower than a bullet, but it has its ways of forcing the issue.