Mystery Tornado Debris Sparks Removal Questions


Friday, June 14th 2013, 10:04 pm
By: News 9


It's a mystery along the destructive path of the May 20 tornado. Questions surround a mammoth tank in the backyard of southwest Oklahoma City resident Jo Lynn Johnson. Where did it come from? Who owns it? Who should remove it?

Oklahoma City tells Johnson the large tank may have been on a train, but the closest tracks are miles away. Johnson, who lived just east of Briarwood Elementary, only has a foundation left intact on her property.

"It's overwhelming," said Johnson. "We lost three cars and the whole house."

For weeks, Johnson has been trying to piece her life back together and make plans to make the mess on her property disappear; but the "mystery tank" is holding her back.

"It's just sitting there in the backyard."

As a standard rule in Moore and Oklahoma City, each property owner is responsible for his or her own debris removal. Of course, insurance companies and volunteers help, but what is assumed to be a 22,000 gallon propane tank is pretty much an anomaly.

Complete Coverage: May 2013 Tornado Outbreak

The City of Oklahoma City says the responsibility lies with the people who own the tank, but city officials don't even know who to call. There's no name or number that can be found on the tank. The city says, if all else fails, it will take responsibility.

As for the rest of Johnson's debris, she is confident she will have all the help she needs.

"The volunteers have been amazing," Johnson said. "We go over there, and somebody stops by in their car and they ask to help."

If you have debris that is questionable, call your city government. Both Oklahoma City and Moore officials say they will send a crew to individual properties to investigate the issue and answer questions.

City of Moore: (405) 793-5000

City of Oklahoma City: (405) 297-2535