The Midwest Floods of 2019

Preparing for the Worst by Learning from the Past


Spring flooding in the Midwest has caused incredible damage to cities, towns, and agriculture, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimating $37.3 billion in damages. The catastrophic floods in the Midwest and Plains states, reminds us of the Great Flood of 1927 and 1993. But we’ve learned that it’s the conditions and preparation that precede the flooding that determine how much damage will go unstopped.

Potential causes of massive flooding:
  • Snowpack and frost
  • Moisture level in soil
  • Streamflow and precipitation

These factors are all potential contributors to flooding. Precipitation in seven of nine Plains and Midwest states during fall of 2018 outweighed precipitation during fall of 1992. Similarly, eight of nine Plains and Midwest states had a wetter winter during 2018 and 2019 than in 1992 and 1993.

As the soil becomes saturated, it has trouble absorbing heavy rainfall, causing runoff into creeks and rivers.  As the rivers fill up, the potential catastrophic floods increase.

In 1993, a cluster of large thunderstorms, known to meteorologists as mesoscale convective systems, dropped an incredible amount of rain on the Midwest and Plain states. Conditions for rainfall like this most often depend on air temperature.

Surviving a Flood

Three lives have been lost due to the flooding in the Midwest this year, according to NOAA’s weather and climate disaster table of events. The Department of Homeland Security has tips for facing floods natural disasters.
  • Always evacuate if you are told to
  • Don’t drive around barricades
  • Stay off bridges
  • Avoid contact with flood water
  • Move to higher ground
The time to prepare for a flood is now. Know the flood risks in your area, make a plan, and subscribe to your community’s emergency warning system. Learn evacuation routes and plan ahead to protect your home and businesses.


Proven Solutions When Stormwaters Rise

According to NOAA , while states in the upper Mississippi and Missouri River basins (Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa), are at risk of flooding, states in the U.S. east of the Mississippi River and portions of California and Nevada are also at risk of minor floods.

Landslides, erosion, and overflow of water systems are all potential effects of large-scale flooding. Sediment left behind as a result of flood waters, reduces water quality affecting the water supply.
Flood waters can also contain debris and nutrients, which can affect the water quality, encouraging the growth of algae.


Controlling sediment dispersion with a turbidity curtain helps to control erosion, blocking sediment and protecting wildlife and surrounding vegetation. Curtains like this are used to keep bodies of water silt free and keeping the quality of water high.


Sandbags are a great way to limit the effects of flood waters at your home or business on a small scale. Made with either a high UV or burlap material, this material contains sand while limiting the flow of water. Water control bags like these are easy to move to areas in need. To inhibit the effects of flood, stack bags parallel to the flow with the top end of the bad folded under.

The Automatic Multibagger sanbag filling machine can fill three sandbags simultaneously. The machine is operated by three people, each at a filling station. Each operator fills a bag at one of the three chutes, releasing materials by depressing the foot pedal and stopping the flow of materials by releasing the pedal. The automatic sandbag machine can fill one bag every 10 seconds.


Using a flood barrier protection wall can save money and effort when preparing for a flood:
  • Saves money:  Using a barrier during flash flooding, storm surge, or mudslide, offers a large scale alternative to sandbags. 
  • Eliminates worry: Using self-erecting barriers can save time and worry when a storm threatens. Installation simply requires you unfold the barrier and fill. 
  • Utilizes space: The barrier can be used to divert stormwater around property, along a riverbank or slope. Space is often a commodity. With a flood barrier protection wall, one 100 foot section is equal to 8,000 sandbags. Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers offer another large scale solution to mitigating flood waters. 
Features of a bulk bag include either polypropylene-coated or uncoated fabric. Coated bulk bags inhibit moisture and prevent content shifting. Uncoated bags offer more flexibility. When preventing erosion, an uncoated bulk bag would be used for filtration.

Needs can vary when protecting your home or business from the effects of flood water. Contact GEI Works at +1-772-646-0597 to receive one-on-one assistance with all your flood prevention requirements.

Four Must-Have Bladder Tank Accessories

Maximize the many benefits of your collapsible bladder tank with GEI Works tank equipment accessories–easily protect both your location and the contents of your pillow tank.

Bladder Tanks are an extremely useful and versatile form of liquid storage. They fold flat when not in use, they fill up quickly, and are easily drained. They can range in size from 25 gallons to 210,000 gallons capacities for a variety of applications.

However, proper maintenance and best practices are important to ensure its longevity.

The following four bladder tank equipment accessories will help you get the most from your bladder tank, prepare for emergency situations, and protect your tank long term.

1. Ground Cloth for Tank and Ground Protection


Whether your collapsible tank is situated outdoors or indoors, it's important to protect the bladder tank to avoid punctures. Our protection fabric defends the pillow tank from abrasion on rough concrete or ground conditions.

Ground cloths are typically made from vinyl or PVC-coated fabrics, depending on the material of your tank. A variety of fabric thicknesses and weight are available for different liquids and ground conditions.

Each ground cloth can be specifically designed to fit the size of your collapsible bladder, to ensure the proper coverage and protection. A second cloth can even be used on top as a protection cover.

When it's time to set up your water bladder with the ground cloth, the first step is to clear the area. If placed indoors, clean the floor of dirt and trash. For bare ground, all rocks, twigs, and other outdoor debris should be cleared away and the ground leveled to ensure a suitable area for the bladder tank. Spread out the ground cloth where you want the pillow tank to rest, and then place the bladder tank centered on top.

2. Containment Berm for Spill Containment and Protection


Your pillow tank is on the ground cloth and ready to be filled. But now you’re worried about what could happen if it rips or tears. How can you contain any leakage and prevent a mess?

Placing the bladder in a containment berm can keep any leaks or spills from spreading beyond the initial placement area.

The aluminum angle containment berm has 1-foot walls to provide a large spill area in the event of a large accident. Both standard and heavy duty brackets are available for extra support. Fabrics range from PVC to Elvaloy, depending on the nature of the water bladder.

Similar to the ground cloth, each containment berm is specifically designed to fit the specifications of your tank equipment.

The berm isn’t a replacement for the ground cloth but an addition to your bladder protection system. The protection fabric is laid first with the containment berm on top. It still defends against abrasion, only for the berm now. Containment berms add an extra layer of protection against ground conditions and provide spill safety.

3. Tank Fittings for Best Use of Your Tank


In addition to protection supplies for your bladder tank, GEI Works also offers a wide range of materials and fitting types for most bladders.

There are a few questions you can ask to ensure you choose the proper fittings for your tank.

How are you planning to use your tank? Which pipes or hoses will connect? What are their sizes? What type of water flow do you need? Do you need to allow for a small or large volume of water? Do you need the water to stop at different intervals along the hose?

Proper tank fittings have a good seal during use, preventing leaks and spills.

Materials and Type of Tank Fittings
  • PVC
  • PE
  • CPVC
  • PP
  • Fitting Types
  • Ball Valves
  • Bulkhead Fittings
  • Manways
  • Gauges and Adapters
If you need any help choosing the best fittings for your tank, contact our water tank specialists at 772-646-0597 or Contact Us.

4. Tank Repair Kits for Patching a Bladder Tank


Despite all your preparations, the worst has happened – a small leak has formed in your water bladder. Luckily, GEI Works has the solution.

Our tank repair kit contains all the necessary supplies to patch your bladder.

  • Tank Fabric Patch
  • Seam Roller
  • Scissors
  • Sandpaper
  • Cement Glue
  • Resealable Bag
  • Patching Instructions

The process is deceptively simple.

Start by cutting the repair patch to cover the problem area with 2 inches available on each side. Clean and sand the area to ensure a good seal. Apply cement to the entire patch and repair section before attaching the patch in place. The seam roller prevents air bubbles and wrinkles from drying in place. Finally, apply more cement around the patch edges and allow it to dry completely.

Your collapsible bladder is ready for water again!

Remember These Bladder Tank Accessories


So remember, for the most effective use and protection of your collapsible tank, you need these bladder tank equipment accessories:


For help with these items, you can always contact our product specialists at 772-646-0597 or Contact Us today, and we will be happy to work with you.

See the entire collection of Collapsible Pillow Tanks and other bladder tank equipment available from GEI Works.