HEARTLAND FLOOD: Pacific Junction residents survey damage, make plans for moving forward

PACIFIC JUNCTION, Iowa (WOWT) - State officials are assessing homes in Pacific Junction, Iowa after flooding receded and allowed residents access.

Residents of Pacific Junction, Iowa survey the damage left behind by the flood on Tuesday, April 16, 2019. Officials began tagging which homes were safe to rebuild and which would have to be destroyed.

The town is drying out, but the community has a long way to go to get back on its feet.

Ed Grahm helped his in-laws put thousands of dollars into their Pacific Junction home.

"It's a loss. It's a loss of words for whatever you say, so it's kind of devastating," he said.

State officials tagged homes that are safe to go into and those that pose a risk.

"They're checking for any immediate life threats they can see, any building collapses they can see, making a recommendation on if they feel in their expertise it's safe to go into the structure," Jason Andrews with the Iowa Incident Management Team said.

Grahm said he's happy to start work on his in-laws' home, but seeing it for the first time wasn't easy.

"The money that they've put into it and the money that I've done labor and stuff, it's all gone. Ain't nothing left," he said.

For now, the couple is living with Grahm and his family.

"They are safe and sound," he said.

After more than 30 years in Pacific Junction, they won't be going back. Their home will be demolished.

"They're moving up to Melbourne in another house. This place is far beyond repair," the son-in-law said.

Residents of the damaged town are looking to FEMA and the Red Cross for help. Insurance won't cover any of the loss, and Grahm said they still need a hand from the non-affected neighbors.

"Please, if you're willing to help, anything will help," he said.

Tuesday was the last day that Mills County residents could apply for disaster relief, but the Red Cross will be in the area Wednesday to continue handing out aid.