Alternative sandbags donated to a West Yorkshire food charity have saved its warehouse from flood damage.
The food bank is called The Welcome Centre and its warehouse is on an industrial estate vulnerable to flooding from the nearby River Holme close to Huddersfield town centre.
After a previous flood at the warehouse Huddersfield company Environmental Defence Systems Ltd stepped in to help by donating dozens of its award-winning FloodSax sandless sandbags.
They have been stored at the warehouse ever since in case they were needed in a flood emergency and that happened during torrential rain on Friday, October 20.
The river rose alarmingly and flooded Queen’s Road next to the industrial estate so The Welcome Centre warehouse team quickly energised the FloodSax in water and built them into barriers to stop water pouring in through its large roller shutter doors.
Warehouse manager Jess Johnstone said: “They were an absolute Godsend and kept the water out. We have no space for sandbags but the FloodSax come in boxes of 20 so are very space-saving to store.
“We activated them in tubs of water and even large puddles and wheeled bins filled with water so we were quickly in action to keep the floodwater out. If it had got in then it would have put us out action and caused serious damage inside. Floodwater is absolutely filthy and also brings a lot of mud and silt with it but the FloodSax kept everything at bay.
“If we’d been flooded we would have lost stock to flood damage and it would have been a mammoth task to clear up.”
Environmental Defence Systems Ltd has now donated more FloodSax to The Welcome Centre to protect its roller shutter doors.
Environmental Defence Systems sales and support executive Lucy Bailey said: “The Welcome Centre provides such an essential frontline service, never more so than now in the middle of a serious cost-of-living crisis.
“When they contacted us previously looking to buy FloodSax we decided to donate them free of charge so they could spend the money they’d saved on flood prevention buying more items for people who need the food bank to survive.
“Now they’ve used them in action we’ve immediately provided them with some more to give them that peace of mind that they have instant flood prevention on site 24/7 and 365 days a year.”
FloodSax (http://www.floodsax.co.uk/) are multi-purpose so in their dry state can soak up water, but once immersed fully in water the gelling polymer inside absorbs the water and retains it, transforming the FloodSax into an instant sandbag but without any sand. This only takes around five minutes.
Almost three million FloodSax have now been sold worldwide and they are used in countries such as the USA, Australia, Malaysia and Sweden.
They were invented by Huddersfield entrepreneur Richard Bailey who is managing director of Environmental Defence Systems Ltd.