I have never heard the term “HESCO barrier” until tonight. It’s a temporary flood wall made of portable steel framed “cubes” lined with waterproof material and filled with sand or gravel. Each cube is four feet tall and three feet wide. The liner is a plastic-canvas type material which is felted rather than woven. Unlike a typical construction tarp, the liner stretches evenly in all directions.

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The HESCO barrier was developed by a British entrepreneur named Jim Heselden in the early 1980’s. (In 2010, he bought Segway Inc, the company that manufactures the Segway Personal Transport System.) HESCO barriers cost roughly $250 per 15 feet.