The arrival of El Paso's monsoon means an increase in thunderstorm activity, and although we don't get much rain here in the desert, often times when we do get it, we get a lot of it at once.

And that can often times lead to flooding.

If you live in an area that tends to flood, sand bags are one way to keep the water out of your home or property. Now is the time to proactively prepare for future storm events, so here is where to get free sand bags before the heavy rains begin.

City of El Paso

El Paso Water's seasonal sand bag sites in the West, Central, East and Mission Valley areas of the city are not open until July, until then you can stock up at the Stormwater Operations Center, 4801 Fred Wilson, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The limit is 10 sandbags per visit. You will need to show a Texas ID or an El Paso Water bill to get sandbags.

El Paso County

If you live outside city limits, El Paso County Public Works has sand bags piled on pallets outside of all three Road & Bridge warehouses listed below available 24 hours a day. There is bag limit of 15 per household.

• Road & Bridge Fabens Warehouse, 1331 N. Fabens St., Fabens, TX [Map]
• Road & Bridge Canutillo Warehouse, 191 Canutillo Ave., Canutillo, TX [Map]
• Road & Bridge Montana Warehouse, 14698 Van Lane, El Paso, TX [Map]

The City of Socorro

Socorro has two locations, each with a 10 bags per address per day limit. You may need to show your Driver License with current address or a utility bill.

• Socorro Recycling Center
241 Old Hueco Tanks Rd.
Tues.- Sat. 8 AM- 5 PM
(915) 858-1114

• Rio Vista Community Center
901 N. Rio Vista Rd.
Mon.- Thurs. 8 AM- 8 PM Fri. 8 AM- 4PM
(915) 860-8615

Village of Vinton

Vinton residents can pick up sandbags at Vinton City Hall, 436 E. Vinton Rd. Limit is 7 bags per household.