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Sandbag machine could save Hillsborough Co. time during hurricane season

Posted at 6:43 PM, May 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-23 18:47:29-04

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. -- In preparation for hurricane season, Hillsborough county says they’ve made some big changes including adding six new sandbagging machines.

"It probably triples or quadruples our previous production of backbreaking sandbag filling," said Chris Sanz with Hillsborough County.

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One machine produces 900 sandbags an hour, that's 5400 and hour for all six machines. It even stitches the bag to prevent leaks.

"We’re able to be much more productive and offer much more volume at a shorter rate," Sanz said.

There is a limit of 15 sandbags per visit when the call for an emergency comes.

Some other changes the county has made is expanding pet and special needs shelters, and recommending people have seven days worth of supplies ready instead of just three days.

"With the intensity of these new storms and with how quickly they’re developing and there may be a potential that we may not have power for seven days," said Tim Dudley Hillsborough County emergency management director.

Officials say the best thing people can do is have a plan, with shelters being the absolute last resort.

"We want to make sure that we’re being as resilient as possible," Dudley said.