HARLINGEN, Texas — As tropical storm Beta approaches Texas, cities across the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) are distributing sandbags. But if you don’t have time to wait in those lines, there are alternative ways to protect your home from the heavy rain.
Sand is not the only way to protect your home from flooding.
“A lot of people just basically use dirt, anything that can fill this up,” said Bo Ortiz, Harlingen McCoy’s manager.
While RGV cities are giving out sandbags as a precaution, they are limiting the number of bags you can take. But at McCoy’s in Harlingen and other hardware stores, you can find the same materials
“It’s a poly-woven bag,” Ortiz said. “It’ll hold the soils real good. Of course, it’ll keep the soils from coming out and keep it in place and try to help prevent some of the water from going inside the house.”
Ortiz said you can even fill the bags with cat litter or water and lay them in front of your doors and garage.
He warns not to over fill.
“You want to try to keep it, actually, below the tie line, that way you’ll be able to crink it, tie it around and fill your bag,” said Ortiz.
The Assistant Emergency Management Coordinator for Cameron County, Rolando Casas, said if you do use sandbags, take care of them for future use.
“Once the storm passes if they can stack them up, cover them, keep them away from direct sunlight,” said Casas. “Those sandbags can be reused over and over, as long as they’re out of the elements.”
Casas said water pumps can also be useful, but you must be sure to check with local officials to find out where you can release the water.
“Just make sure it’s not going directly into your neighbor’s yard, that discharge hose, or anything like that,” said Casas.