DONIPHAN & POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KAIT) -- The flooding across Region 8 has destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses, leaving folks to dry out, pick up the pieces and continue with their lives. But before the rebuilding process can begin, the cleanup has to start. Starting over will likely start with throwing it out.
"It was grab what you could and get out then...it was that fast," said Chad Thompson as he floated a cooler full of dry clothing and a cell phone while walking through flood waters.
With more than 10 inches of rainfall in Ripley County, the Current River is running through many homes in Doniphan.
"We went back to see what could be salvaged and there will be some things but a lot of it's pretty bad," remarked Thompson.
"We were able to get some clothes for my son," said lifelong Doniphan resident Mindy Lowery.
As the storm waters recede and the cleanup begins there are a few tips to keep in mind, first make sure the electricity and gas are turned off to the home before even reentering.
"You want to sanitize everything," said Butler County University of Missouri Extension Specialist Phyllis Flanigan, "You want to wash everything down with soap and water and then follow with bleach water again wear a mask, wear rubber gloves, it's going to be very toxic."
Appliances and most furniture will likely have to be thrown out although mattresses can be professionally sterilized.
"You can keep canned goods that have been commercially canned if you sanitize them. You can do that if you put them in boiling water for two minutes or you can put them in a solution and it's like one tablespoon of unscented bleach in a gallon of water and soak it for about 15 minutes and that will sanitize it, but let it air dry for about an hour," said Flanigan.
Baby bottles and storage containers should be thrown away, along with any plastic cookware or utensils.
"Hopefully the pictures of my kids basically is all I want to save but I'm pretty sure that they are gone so just whatever clothes or whatever we can get out of there is really what we need," said Lowery.
For more information about flooding cleanup log onto the University of Missouri Extension Center webpage at: http://extension.missouri.edu/cemp/flood.html
Tips on cleaning a flood damaged home include: