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A husband wades through record floods in Iowa and begs his wife to keep going

On Main Street in Rock Valley, Joane Rozeboom and her daughter Britney Westra watched as a tractor with a shovel and grapple picked up destroyed goods – cowhide furniture, plasterboard, insulation, flood-soaked clothing in plastic tubs – in front of their Copper Rose Apparel boutique.

The store was a dream they launched two years ago with the help of their Covid-19 stimulus checks, and when they saw the destruction on Monday, they said they would work to reopen the boutique.

“We thought, yes, we'll do it, and it won't be as much work as the first time,” Ms Rozeboom said. “But the more we dig, the more we realise it's still going to be a lot of work.”

Elsewhere in Rock Valley, where receding water left a swampy stench despite 90-degree heat Monday, the Blieks, the couple who fought to be rescued Saturday, surveyed the damage to their home.

A tangle of deck chairs, mattresses and side tables was covered in mud. It was a total loss.

But on a mantelpiece on the lower floor of the house they found the untouched urn containing the ashes of their daughter Halee, who died in a car accident last year at the age of 35.

“When we got here, I said, 'Randy, we have Halee,'” Ms. Bliek said. “That was the only thing I was really worried about.”

Lauryn Higgins Contributed reporting from North Sioux City, SD

Anna Harden

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