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UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. – Many residents in the St. Louis area are cleaning up the aftermath of Tuesday’s flooding, but the floodwater can be a health hazard.

University City residents along Cabanne Avenue have moved flood-soaked furniture and other items out to the sidewalk and it’s where an apartment complex swimming pool is being drained of contaminated flood water.

Dozens of homes, cars, and streets were flooded. Officials said exposure to contaminated water can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and skin rashes. Exposure to floodwater can lead to breathing problems.

“If there is standing water, the first health hazard depending on how high it is if any of that water could be near electricity, you need to be extra careful,” said Justin Woodard, owner, and CEO of Woodard Cleaning and Restoration. “If you got tall rubber boots that would be helpful, if you are picking up any of the materials, put on some sort of plastic gloves or nitro gloves to protect your hands. The caveat here really is if your water is coming up through your sewer that’s when you’re at a lot more risk. So, that water is going across, where the sewage leaves your house that is when you’re going to want to call most likely a professional. We have extra PPE that we wear and tieback suits and respirator, so we’re suiting up in full PPE when we’re dealing with water that is coming up through the sewer.”

Officials said it can take up to weeks for homes with severe flood damage can recover. Woodard said Woodard Cleaning and Restoration company in St. Louis has all of its employees mobilized to help homes and businesses. He said they have called on other restoration companies from different cities to help with the St. Louis cleanup.