HEARTLAND FLOOD: Pacific Junction residents weighing their options

PACIFIC JUNCTION, Iowa (WOWT) -- For one small Iowa town, this year’s historic flooding is threatening its existence; but recent news out of the governor’s office is providing some hope.

WOWT file photo

Pacific Junction Mayor Andy Young said the state is trying to work out a buyout into its use of federal disaster relief funds.

"In their package, they're trying to put together a portion of it to do the buyouts as deeded property,” the mayor said. "The people get their buyout, and the city can continue to grow and come back as deeded property.”

There are about 220 homes in Pacific Junction, and about 150 owners have signed on for a FEMA buyout; an option that doesn’t allow for the property to ever be built on again.

"You lose your city revenue, you lose your school, and you lose the the county and then it will be up to the city to maintain it. It basically becomes a little park,” Young said.

Jack Scroggs and his wife have been living in an RV park in Glenwood, Iowa, since March. He owns six properties in Pacific Juncion and has signed up for the FEMA buyout.

He said he’d go back to the town if there was a buyout option that allowed for it.

“If could take a buyout with somebody to buy back yes we would definitely go back,” Scroggs said.

Then there are those like Kim Barns, who is going back no matter what — she doesn’t want a buyout.

"It's just a good place to be,” she said. “I don't want to see the town go away. I don't want to see my house go away."

There are also people who said they won’t go back ever; they don’t like the idea of any possibility of dealing with floodwaters again.

Those looking at one of the potential buyout options still have another eight or nine months before they will see any movement on that front. The state has to have its spending plan approved by the federal government before any funds can be spent.