PACIFIC JUNCTION - With fears that rising water from the Missouri River could flood the city of Pacific Junction, many residents of this western Mills County community have started making evacuation plans for themselves and their families.
Some residents have already packed up their belongings and put them in storage and some have secured temporary living arrangements with relatives and friends in other communities.
Cally Boatwright moved out Friday and took her mobile home with her. Actually, Boatwright moved in with her son, Tony, in Omaha, and had her mobile home hauled to Glenwood where she’s being allowed to store it temporarily on a parking lot owned by Jim Hughes Real Estate.
The decision to remove her home from Pacific Junction wasn’t an easy one for Boatwright to make.
“It’s kind of a mind game,” Boatwright said. “Do you (move out) or don’t you.”
With the help of relatives, Boatwright was able to get her belongings packed up in three days last week. She’s placed many of her items in portable storage pods.
“You just have so many boxes and items to move,” she said. “It isn’t easy.”
Boatwright isn’t the only resident of Pacific Junction or rural areas of western Mills County to evacuate their property in the last week, but Mills County officials are still trying to determine a definite count.
Mills County Emergency Management Director Larry Hurst said any property owner who evacuates, should make local officials aware of their move by calling 527-4871. It’s vital for emergency responders and law enforcement officials to know which homes have been vacated, Hurst said.
Before evacuating their property, home owners should also contact their local electrical and gas providers to have those services shut off. Refrigerators should be emptied of their contents.There are also storage and housing concerns to deal with. Mortgage lenders and insurance underwriters should also be contacted.
Sheri Bowen, administrator of the Mills County Public Health Department and public information officer for Mills County’s flood relief effort, said services and counseling are available for residents who are thinking about leaving their homes.
“Through our outreach effort, we’ve counseled a lot of residents who are thinking about moving,” Bowen said.
A wide array of local flood information and resource links are available online at www.millscoia.us.
Questions may also be directed to the Mills County Flood Hotline at 527-4231.