Flood Plan Components: Protect stored grain

Floods March 23, 2012 Print Friendly and PDF



Flood Plan Components

Protect Stored Grain

In the event of a flood, it’s important to protect any grain stored on your site. Floodwaters not only spoil the grain by getting it wet, the soaked grain also can expand, damaging or destroying storage bins. Build dikes around grain bins or closely inspect them around their bases if flooding occurs.

Wet Grain Can Damage Bins

The following story describes why it’s important to dike around grain bins, or at least, to closely inspect them if it floods around the base:


We’ve got two 90,000-bushel-grain bins sitting down lower than the others. When the levee broke, the water reached four feet deep around them. The corn absorbed water and swelled. One of the bins had roughly 80,000 bushels in it. The other had about 50,000 bushels. When the corn in the one with fewer bushels swelled, it lifted the corn upward instead of pushing outward. But the one with 80,000 bushels couldn’t lift the corn, because it was so heavy. It swelled and pushed out the sides. We discovered it early Sunday morning, around 7 o’clock. Corn was dribbling out the side of the bin. When we got closer, we could see that the swollen corn split the bin six inches. By 11 o’clock that day, the split was four rings up, and then the corn had started pushing out the split.

We had maybe about half a foot of water — low enough so that we could get to the bins. We were concerned about the bin taking out electric poles. The electricity supply for the elevator and main office was no more than 10 feet from the side of the leaking bin. We were concerned that if the bin gave way, it could take out those poles with their transformers. We called the energy company and had them disconnect the lines and kill all the power. We called a contractor who works on grain bins. They drilled two, eight-inch holes on all sides of the bins across from one another. They inserted 21-foot augers with motors in each hole and started unloading the bins. We saved a lot of the corn.



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