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Hurricane Irma bound for Gulf and East Coast

Hurricane Irma headed our wayHurricane Irma bound for Gulf and East Coast

On the coat-tails of Hurricane Harvey rides Hurricane Irma, already the strongest hurricane ever recorded outside the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, nearing historical precedent and a theoretical limit for how strong it can get.

Irma is a category 5 hurricane with maximum winds reaching approximately 185 mph, surpassing the 157 mph requirement categorizing a standard cat 5 hurricane. Formed in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean near the Cape Verde Islands, these Cape Verde Hurricanes are known to have a tendency of becoming some of the largest and most intense hurricanes, such as hurricanes Hugo (1989, cat 5, highest winds of 160 mph, 107 direct deaths), Floyd (1999, cat 4, highest winds of 155 mph, 57 direct and 20-30 indirect deaths), and Ivan (2004, cat 4, highest winds of 165 mph, 92 direct and 32 indirect deaths).

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Hurricane Harvey Devastates Texas

Hurricane Harvey Slams TexasHurricane Harvey Slams Texas

By now, we’ve all heard of the disaster of Hurricane Harvey and its affects on numerous southern states, specifically that of Texas. Record accumulation of rainfall is affecting south-east Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi while tropical storm force winds affecting primarily Texas and Louisiana has produced massive flooding throughout Texas.

Search and rescue by boat and air is underway, as there’s no end in sight of the floods and damage, as well as the residents seeking refuge from this catastrophic event. The National Weather Service forecast rainfall of 15 to 25 inches through Friday, with as much as 50 inches in a few areas stating that flooding is expected to continue for days. The NY TIMES reports a record 22 inches fell on the county in one day, while The Guardian states, “The sheer scale of Harvey – some parts of Texas may experience a year’s worth of rainfall in just over a week”.

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Boise Idaho

Flood protection - Boise IdaholFlood Protection for Boise Idaho

Damitdams was contacted by the city of Boise, Idaho to supply cofferdams for flood protection for one of the city buildings that is uses for monitoring traffic control in the city of Boise.

The building is roughly 100 yards from the Boise River, which is a tributary for of the snake river.  The river, which  is 102 miles long, is expected to reach record levels this year. Damitdams Inc. supplied 4 cofferdams at a size of 4 feet tall by 200 feet long.

The cofferdams will be connected to surround the building, creating a water tight barrier against the rising waters of the river. It is Expected that the levels of water flooding the building will reach 2 or 3 feet within the next couple of days . A representative from Damitdams went to Boise to help install the cofferdam and help prepare for the flood. Once the flooding is no longer a threat, a DamitDams representative will return to remove the cofferdam.

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Cofferdams and Caissons

Caissons and Cofferdams

A Caisson is a watertight structure used for retaining water in order to work on the foundations for bridges, piers, and other structures. Generally speaking, the water is pumped out to create a completely dry work environment. Some caissons can be open-air caissons, whereas others may use compressed air to keep the mud and water out. Installation involves pushing it into the mud, until it reaches clay or another solid foundation. Due to the pressures inside of caissons, there are many risks to the workers.

There are four main types of caissons:

Box

Box caissons are put into place and filled with concrete, and may make up the foundation for other structures. These caissons must be anchored to allow them to remain in the proper position until they have been filled with concrete.

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Are Sandbags the Right Solution for You?

A sandbag flood wall

Are Sandbags the Right Solution for You?

The Environmental Agency of the UK, as well as many experts in the field of flood protection agree that sandbags are ineffective for groundwater flooding, and are only useful when combined with plastic sheeting.Sandbags are time consuming and difficult to handle, and are susceptible to seepage and leakage. Sandbags take at least two people to fill, and at a relatively slow rate of roughly 12 in an hour. They are difficult to handle, can be quite heavy, and time consuming to lay out. If not laid correctly, they become even less effective, further illustrating the need for sandbag alternatives.

Even in a best case scenario, when the bags are stacked properly, they will still seep water.Sandbags are often filled with bacteria from the dirty floodwater, and have proven difficult to dispose of when the flood water has receded.

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