Keep those sandbags; you might need them later

Updated: Jul. 18, 2019 at 6:24 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Some people spent hours filling sandbags in anticipation of Hurricane Barry.

Melinda Stallings filled them just in case the bayou behind her house spilled out of its banks.

“In the course of a couple days, fill 35 sandbags,” Stallings said. “I really don’t want to ever do that again.”

While the flood risk is over for now, Stallings says she’s not letting her guard down.


"I’m going to stack them along my fence back here, the fence line, but that way they’re at the ready,” she said. “I still have some at the front of my house that I have to bring around, but they are heavy, so that’ll be a little bit of a chore.”

Clay Rives, the director of the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (MOHSEP), says like Stallings, other residents should hang on to those bags.

"We’re early in hurricane season. Hurricane season runs through November, and we would like, if someone does have the ability to store them, keep them out of the sun, cover them up with a tarp, and if you can’t, dispose of them,” Rives said.

For those set on getting rid of them, Rives says there’re a few things residents can do.

“We do have an area where you can turn them back in at Memorial Stadium, or you can use them around your house for low spots in your yard,” he said. “Don’t leave them in ditches. We try not to block any type of drainage that we have and don’t set them at the curb.”

For residents who want to do something else with the bags, Stallings says she has a few ideas.

“Maybe there are some playgrounds that could use some sand,” Stallings said. “I don’t know if playgrounds use that. Perhaps there’s some elderly that have some low spots in their yards that people could help to fill in. Maybe there’s some areas in beautiful south Louisiana that could also use the sandbags, and also maybe there’s a movement that could be put together to help with erosion.”

Rives says residents getting rid of their sandbags should not leave them on the curb. They will not be picked up.

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