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Floodwaters have left behind more than mud, sand and tree limbs in Missouri, especially in agricultural areas, where state agencies are assisting communities in recovering containers that could hold flammable, poisonous, corrosive or explosive substances such as fuel or agricultural chemicals.

The Missouri departments of Agriculture and Natural Resources reported in a news release Thursday that 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.”

Such lost and washed-up containers include pressurized cylinders and tanks, large propane and anhydrous ammonia tanks, multi-thousand-gallon above-ground storage tanks, small consumer-sized containers, steel or plastic drums and barrels, or agricultural transport and storage containers.

State agencies said these containers should only be handled by experts, and while there is a cost managing orphan 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.”

FEMA-approved assistance for counties including Boone, Callaway, Cole and Miller for flooding and severe storms.

State agencies have asked the public for help in identifying containers left behind by flooding that still need to be recovered.

Anyone can report a flood-related orphaned container by calling DNR’s 24-hour Environmental Emergency Response Hotline at 573-634-2436 or by submitting an online report at dnr.mo.gov/container-form.htm.

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