The western one-fourth of the county — including the city of Pacific Junction — remains under an evacuation order due to rising water and the shutdown of utilities. The county’s public information officer, Sheri Bowen, says the majority of the floodwater from the Missouri River is coming from overtopped levees south of Highway 34.
“We’re seeing water coming back up into the corridor that’s running in directions we’ve just not seen before,” according to Bowen. “It’s back filling, it’s moving north, it’s flowing the wrong way — it’s just a whole lot of unusual water movement out there. So, we are continuing to monitor that area to ensure that it’s not accessed by folks who could have some sort of injury in that area, so we’re protecting that areas, protecting folks’ valuables and property the best we can.”
Pacific Junction was placed under a mandatory evacuation order by Mayor Andy Young Sunday night. Bowen says the evacuation order was prompted as water came into the city from the south and filled the streets. “There is a layer of water there and our aerial photos from Sunday showed that (the town) was pretty well surrounded — it was just dry within the community. The biggest change here is that the water is coming from the south and has filled those streets.”
Bowen says those displaced by flooding are being directed to the American Red Cross shelter at Salem United Methodist Church in Council Bluffs. She says other flood victims have found refuge in Glenwood. “Our goal is that everyone is safely evacuated and that they were able to safely find shelter. One of the pluses for the folks in Pacific Junction is that they did have a little bit of time to prepare and get ready. And I think they did have some good plans as to where they might go,” Bowen says.
Bowen says those wishing to donate food or time can go through Grace United Methodist Church in Glenwood. She says clothing and food donations can also be made to the Mills County Storehouse or the Open Closet program. Bowen says the county is working to setup an official avenue for monetary donations to flood relief. “We’ll be publicizing that information when we have it available. I would caution folks — Go-Fund-Me pages are a great resource for people and I’m not saying that’s not an appropriate use of your dollars — but please know that we will be coming up with an official Mills County flood relief fund,” Bowen says
For more information on donating to flood relief in Mills County, contact Bowen at 712-527-0137, or the Mills County Communication Center at 712-527-4817.
(By Ryan Matheny, KMA, Shenandoah)