November 07, 2019

State agencies partner to help Missouri communities, farmers recover orphaned containers after flooding


The departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture are partnering to assist Missouri communities and farmers in recovering and identifying orphaned storage containers dislodged by flooding. The containers must be handled by experts because they can hold an array of potentially dangerous substances, including fuel and agricultural chemicals.

Examples of flood-related orphaned containers include:

  • Pressurized cylinders and tanks
  • Large propane and anhydrous ammonia tanks
  • High-capacity above-ground storage tanks (multi-thousand gallons)
  • Small consumer-sized containers (5-gallon buckets)
  • Steel or plastic drums and barrels
  • Agricultural transport and storage containers

State agency personnel and contractors have removed more than 740 orphaned containers, many from public areas and flood-control levees primarily in northwest Missouri. Approximately 21,500 gallons of liquid waste, including petroleum, agriculture chemicals and approximately 7,000 pounds of solid waste products have been collected from orphaned containers and either recycled or safely disposed.

While there is a cost for managing the orphaned containers, any community located in a county that the Federal Emergency Management Agency had approved for flood-related public assistance is eligible to receive assistance with orphaned container retrieval costs.

The public can help with this effort by identifying flood-related containers that still need to be recovered. Anyone may report a flood-related orphaned container by calling the Department of Natural Resources' 24-hour Environmental Emergency Response Hotline at (573) 634-2436, or by submitting an online report by clicking here.