Below is from an email I got from my brother Ben. Since I have a cool website, I figured I’d post it so you can all see how much work went into keeping the Fargo flood at bay.
On Friday, March 20, I officially moved from Fargo with my packed Honda Element. I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t moving because of the forthcoming flood but rather for work. I had been telecommuting for concept3D, but the time had arrived to relocate to the Boulder headquarters.
Fargo flood news became increasingly dire over the weekend and on the following Tuesday I was on a plane heading back to help sandbag. Initially city officials estimated 1.5 million sandbags would be needed to hold back the rising Red River. A week, some rain, and a couple blizzards later volunteers had produced an amazing 3.5 million sandbags to hold back the record flood levels.
That is quite the feat and the numbers donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t need visuals to make an impact. However, since I live, eat, and breath SketchUp I could not help exploring these numbers in my favorite visualization application.
According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers an appropriately-filled sandbag measures 4 inches high by 10 inches wide by 16 inches long. The average weight is between 35 and 40 pounds.
For reference, here is one standard-sized sandbag next to concept3DÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s resident design guru, Jin Pak.
A stack of 2000 could be made by placing sandbags 10 wide, 10 deep, and 20 high. It was not uncommon for a line of hard-working volunteer sandbaggers to pass and place this many before taking a break.
The real cool figure is three-point-five million. That is the number of sandbags that all ages of volunteers cranked out in just a matter of days. These sandbags were police escorted on flatbed tractor-trailers from the numerous sandbag-making stations to dozens of dikes in the Fargo metro area. Many of these sandbag dikes ended up being taller than 4Ã¢â‚¬Â² and a half-mile in length or longer.