J & S Franklin Ltd2011-07-26 12:50:47

DefenCell Flood Wall System in operation in fighting floods in Kentucky, USA

Smithland, Kentucky is a small historic town at the convergence of the Ohio and Cumberland Rivers. It is no stranger to fighting floods. While rising spring waters have at times threatened this community, Smithland has seldom had to deal with flood levels as high as those of late April and early May 2011.

Responding to progressively worsening weather reports, the town of just 400 estimated that they had just 75 hours to prepare for a record surge in river levels, and protect itself from the Ohio River.

"Based on (calculation) and communication with EOC (Louisville District Emergency Operations Center), we determined there was insufficient time to fill and place sandbags, and that the DefenCell Wall System was the best choice to stay in front of the rising water," geotechnical engineer Steven Shifflett said.

The DefenCell Flood Wall is a geotextile-based system, originally developed for ballistic defences in military operations, which can be quickly constructed utilizing local fill, sand, or other common aggregates. The cellular design combined with the proven geotextile fabric help create a tough and durable barrier.

Within 24 hours of receiving a call, DefenCell delivered three miles of Flood Wall units that, once installed, would provide almost four feet of additional flood protection barrier to a key stretch of the levee in Smithland. As a testament to DefenCell's ease of use, within an hour of delivery to Smithland, small volunteer teams were able to start placing, connecting and filling, the DefenCell Flood Wall systems, and within the first three hours they achieved an installation rate of 20+ units per hour. In this short period they installed the equivalent to over 22,000 sandbags.

Over the next day and a half and with the invaluable guidance of the USACE, the volunteer installation teams, including local citizens, city employees and National Guard support, built over a mile of DefenCell Flood Wall providing a critical extra 44" height to the existing levees. Over 700 units were filled, stacked two units high to help raise the town levee to meet the pending flood and to protect the historic business district.

The DefenCell barriers remained solid and additional barriers were installed to protect ‘boils' and localised leakages.

The record floods have now receded and the DefenCell barriers are being dismantled. The simple structures are simple to remove and being totally non metallic can be easily disposed.
Force Protection

The DefenCell range was originally designed as a protective wall system for rapid deployment in conflict areas and has undergone rigorous testing with a wide range of ballistics (including vehicle based improvised explosive device - VBIED) to ensure the safety of personnel living and working behind the defensive shield it forms.

Defencell barriers have been formally and independently tested in both the UK and US.

All the crash tests were conducted in accordance with the respective standards detailed below:
• EN PAS 68 - European Specification for Vehicle Security Barriers.
• US ASTM F-2656-07 (formerly SD-STD-02.01 Rev A) - Perimeter Barriers Standards (Formerly Certification Standard, Test Method for Vehicle Crash Testing of Perimeter Barriers and Gates).

In addition the barriers have been tested against a range of ballistic threats, from small arms fire to artillery and rockets. Specific performance data and the suitability of the different barriers types for particular applications are available on request.

For more information contact:
Franklin House
151 Strand
United Kingdom
Tel:     +44 20 7836 5746
Fax:     +44 20 7836 2784



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