PACIFIC JUNCTION, Iowa — Flood waters covered the town of Pacific Junction in March after the Missouri River flooded in Nebraska and sent a huge deluge of water just northwest of there.
The water closed the town for around a month. Around 400 residents were displaced, including Clydie Nelsen and her four daughters. They were able to get an apartment in nearby Glenwood.
After months of tearing out flood-damaged ceilings, walls and appliances, Nelsen and her girls moved back home on Sunday. Her daughter, Andri, jumped up and down with excitement upon learning they would finally be at home.
“They were all very, very excited because I had no idea. We just relocated them over the weekend,” said Nelsen.
“It was cool, and the first time when I saw my room, I was surprised that we got to move back in,” said Andri.
Various relief and church groups came in to help, along with Nelsen’s father, to help put things back together.
“We lost all the major appliances, washer, dryer, fridge, freeze and all the bed frames,” said Nelsen. “We didn’t have a place for them. We took what we could.”
Nelsen worked to keep life as normal as possible for the girls.
“I put a lot of mileage on the car going back and forth,” said Nelsen. “It’s only six miles. We were constantly running the kids. We were trying to keep them normal as much as we could.”
Nelsen said she is committed to staying in her hometown. She is not sure all the residents will return. So far, around 10 to 15 families have come back to live in Pacific Junction. Many houses are standing empty after the flood. Nelsen thinks many will wait to decide to return until after the coming winter.