Hydraulic sandbag-filling machines will save Brisbane city council staff and volunteers hours of back-breaking work during the city’s next flood event.
Filling sandbags will be 10 times faster when Brisbane experiences its next flood event, with hydraulic technology replacing back-breaking manual labour.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk says four new sandbagging machines will be able to fill 1200 bags an hour, far exceeding the 125-per-hour produced by their gravity-fed counterparts.
“The sandbaggers will save us vital time during disaster situations, providing a quicker response to community need,” Mr Quirk said.
He added the public used approximately 375,000 sandbags to protect their properties in the 2011 floods and approximately 150,000 sandbags in January 2013 following ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald.
“While it is true that this particular season we are having a heightened awareness around bushfires, the reality is that Brisbane faces storms at a moment’s notice,” he told reporters on Thursday.
SES Local Controller Lowry Boyd said the new sandbaggers would allow council staff and volunteers to spend more time responding to disaster situations.
“This machine will also save a lot of effort and back-breaking work,” he said.
The sandbags were UV treated and stabilised and last up to four months if kept out of the sun and the weather, Mr Boyd said.
“It would be beneficial for people to be prepared, to be pro-active and if they’re in areas susceptible to flooding, to have a few on hand.”
He also urged residents to check their properties for overhanging trees, cluttered downpipes and loose toys or furniture before the summer storm season hits.