SLOAN, IOWA (KTIV) — More than 200 residents from Hornick, Iowa, still can’t get back into their homes, after flood waters forced them to evacuate on the morning of Thursday, March 14.
Their homes are filled with water, their power is off, their wastewater system is compromised, among other challenges facing them.
The displaced residents showed up at the Sloan, Iowa, Fire Department to hear from leaders in Woodbury County, who are doing everything the can to help them.
“You make me proud to be your chief…..(clapping),” said Hornick, Iowa, Fire Chief Curt Crichton. Words of encouragement come from Hornick, Iowa, Fire Chief Curt Crichton to a packed house of residents who are homeless because of flood waters.
“We’ll move on. We’ve got good people to work with. That’s what it is. It’s not me. They do it all,” said Hornick, Iowa, Mayor Scott Mitchell.
Mayor Mitchell and his family had to leave their home when the floodwaters hit, just like everyone else in town.
It’s where his 13-year-old daughter Becca has grown up.
“All the volunteers did the best they could to try to save our town. All of us residents couldn’t ask for. They did their best and that’s all we can ask for,” said Becca Mitchell, Hornick, Iowa evacuee.
But it’s not safe to go home yet.
“Hornick residents who had to suddenly leave their homes because of flood waters say the water has receded. However, the road to their homes remains closed,” said Stella Daskalakis, KTIV News 4.
“Just so you all know, nobody is allowed back into Hornick at this time,” said Mayor Mitchell.
The Mayor was joined at the Sloan, Iowa, Fire Station by many leaders in Woodbury County and elsewhere who are pledging their support to help the residents get back on their feet, and into their homes, but they’re asking for patience.
“It’s going to be a slow process and we’ll go as fast as we can. I’ve got people who do that kind of work all weekend,” said Rick Moore, MidAmerican Energy.
“We’re going to take those necessary steps to keep your community safe while you’re away,” said Sheriff Dave Drew, Woodbury County.
Many other organizations are standing by to help feed, clothe and house displaced residents.
Steve Holst has lived in Hornick for 21 years. He’s not quite sure what he’ll find when he finally gets to go home.
“Trying to get through it. We’re staying in a motel until we can get back in and clean up and rebuild,” said Holst.
It’s been a long week for everyone in this room, and they have many questions about how they can keep moving forward through this challenging time, but they remain hopeful.
“First of all, you make sure your family is okay. I made sure my kids had somewhere to go and I had somewhere to go. And then you just start with memories. What are things you absolutely are needing to keep,” said Courtney Nelson, Hornick, Iowa evacuee.
Many who were at the meeting in Sloan were concerned about just getting a chance to see what has been damaged and what they need to do when they get home. The leaders from Woodbury County took them through step by step regarding how to dispose of food, what they need to do once the power is on and where they can get help right now.