YOU ASKED: I have seen no mention of the sandbag-filling machine that the City has in storage for the last number of years. It can fill bags at a rate far exceeding filling by hand. Where is it and why not being used? Thank you.
— Fred Joyce
OUR ANSWER: The machine you are probably thinking of is nicknamed the Spider and it’s basically a portable hopper that sends sand down several chutes into empty bags.
The City of Kamloops doesn’t actually have such a machine. But the Provincial Emergency Preparedness program, which is active in Kamloops, does and will deploy it if the City asks.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the City had not asked to use it.
The machine gets its nickname because it looks like a giant spider (the body being the hopper that’s loaded by excavator or backhoe, the legs being the chutes that send the sand into the bags).
Trained volunteers are the only ones allowed to use it, we’re told by the PEP.
That’s unfortunate, because it makes light work of sandbagging by filling bags at a rate of about 5,000 bags an hour.