The mandatory evacuation order for Pacific Junction, Iowa, was lifted Thursday by Mayor Andy Young.

The entire community is now open, so residents and property owners can return to their properties to determine their viability following March flooding.

For security purposes, entry to Pacific Junction will continue to be limited to the south side of town via 195th Street.

A security checkpoint there has been removed, though law enforcement will patrol the area 24/7, according to Iowa Emergency Management in Mills County.

Teams have completed gross rapid hazard assessments of all structures in Pacific Junction. Those initial assessments do not constitute building or electrical inspections.

Street lights have been restored in most areas, but electricity has not been restored to homes.

As the cleanup begins in all areas of Pacific Junction, residents are urged to use caution. Personal protective equipment, including water-tight boots, cut-proof gloves and N95 masks, are required. No open burning is allowed.

Debris should be placed at curbside and separated into the following categories:

» Garbage

» Household waste

» Appliances, electronics and tires

» Scrap metal

» Tree limbs and trimmings (vegetation)

Those who need help should contact the Mills County Communication Center at 712-527-4871 or a representative of the City of Pacific Junction.

USDA money available for cover crops

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing money to help farmers plant cover crops on storm-damaged fields.

The assistance is available through the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and farmers are encouraged to apply soon.

Cover crops reduce erosion, help restore soil health and lessen water pollution. In some cases, the fields can be grazed.

This funding is available throughout Nebraska and is for cropland directly impacted by the severe weather in March. The highest priority cropland includes land that can’t be planted with a cash crop or harvested this year.

For information, visit a local USDA Service Center or www.ne.nrcs.usda.gov

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Old Mattress Factory plans Easter brunch to benefit flood relief

The Old Mattress Factory Bar & Grill, 501 N. 13th St., is planning an Easter Sunday Brunch, and a portion of the proceeds will go to flood relief. Staff also will be taking donations.

Brunch will be served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are $16 for adults and $7 for children 12 years of age and younger. For information, email info@themattomaha.com or call 402-932-0721.

Disaster center will open in Council Bluffs

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will open a Disaster Recovery Center in Council Bluffs on Tuesday. It will be open for one week only.

Pottawattamie County was recently approved for individual assistance as part of the disaster declaration issued for Iowa by President Donald Trump.

The center will be located at the Council Bluffs Public Library, 400 Willow Ave.

Hours of operation will be:

» Tuesday: noon to 7 p.m.

» Wednesday: 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

» Thursday: 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

» April 26: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

» April 27: 1 to 5 p.m.

Disaster center will open in Wood River

The State of Nebraska and FEMA will open a Disaster Recovery Center in Hall County on Friday.

The center will be at the Wood River City Clerk’s Office, 108 W. 10th St.

Hours of operation will be Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The center will be closed on Sunday.

Centers are operating in several other locations; flood survivors can visit any open center.

To find locations, go online to FEMA.gov/DRC or call 800-621-3362.

Floods devastate Nebraska, Iowa in March 2019

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After drenching rains Tuesday and heavy snow on Wednesday, Gibbon’s low spots became apparent, first as water filled streets to the curb, and later on Thursday and Friday as the water spilled into lawns and driveways before lapping at foundations. “I’ve never seen so much water, or the force and damage it can do in a short time,” firefighter Jamey Rome said.

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Thirty buildings, including the 55th Wing headquarters and the two major aircraft maintenance facilities, had been flooded with up to 8 feet of water, and 30 more structures damaged. About 3,000 feet of the base’s 11,700-foot runway was submerged. No one, though, had been injured.

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An official with the state office of the Farm Services Agency said Monday that because of earlier livestock losses from below-zero temperatures and wet animals, the agency has asked the federal government to add another 30 days to the period in which livestock deaths can be covered by federal aid.

Nancy Gaarder helps cover public safety and weather events as an editor on The World-Herald's breaking news desk. Follow her on Twitter @gaarder. Phone: 402-444-1102.

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