PACIFIC JUNCTION, Iowa — Congresswoman Cindy Axne, a West Des Moines Democrat, came to Pacific Junction in Mills County after the water has finally receded. The town was closed almost a month due to high water.
Residents are busy removing flood debris, ruined beds, games, computers and drywall from within their homes.
Axne listened as residents talked about how the flood affected them.
“How can senior citizens that are getting maybe $700 a month be expected to start all over?” asked Ruby Simms of Malvern.
“All three roads going into my house have water over them,” said Rick Eppenbaugh, who lives south of Pacific Junction. “FEMA people won’t go in over water and neither will my insurance guy, so I have to either walk in or boat in.”
Axne spoke of working with Vice President Mike Pence and Governor Kim Reynolds on a variety of fronts.
“We did a meeting with small business owners in Hamburg about 10 days ago. About 40 folks came out,” said Axne. “We were able to right then tangibly see the motel owner, Mr. Patel, who was refused his loan by the Small Business Administration. I was able to talk with the SBA right then and there and say, ‘what are we going to do to fix this?'” said Axne.
She also raised concern that the Army Corps of Engineers not repeat past mistakes when fixing the levee system.
“Right now what we’re hearing, given the parameters they’re facing, they’re going to rebuild in the same way. It’s going to cost billions of dollars,” said Axne. “Problem with that is we could still have more flooding, and they’re saying that’s probably going to be the case.”
Axne also donned a protective suit and went inside a flooded home and worked to remove flooded items from the home.