Satisfied Flooding Risk Has Been Mitigated, Love's Planning December Reopening For Mills County Store


Reconstruction work is winding down at the Love's Travel Stop near the Interstate 29 / Highway 34 interchange in Mills County.

Love's Pacific Junction location is expected to open in December.

Signage is removed from the Pacific Junction Love's location following the store's closure in 2019.

A flooded Highway 34 in 2019 - view is looking west.

Closed since being deluged by over 10 feet of Missouri River floodwater in March 2019, the Love’s Travel Stop in western Mills County is expected to reopen for business in early December.

Signage has been replaced and construction crews have been working at the site, located west of the Interstate 29 – Highway 34 interchange, for weeks. The Oklahoma-based company has targeted Dec. 9 as the date for reopening.

Love’s was one of several businesses along the I-29 / Highway 34 corridor forced to close its doors after sustaining substantial structural damage during the historic flooding event in 2019. Several of the other retail businesses in the area have rebuilt and reopened over the past two years, including Lincoln Farm & Home BP, AgriVision, Siouxland Trailer Sales and Loess Hills Harley-Davidson.

Following the closure in 2019, Love’s announced it had “no immediate plans to reopen.” After signage was removed from the property, speculation spread locally that the company would not be returning. However, Love’s media relations specialist Caitlin Campbell said company officials like the location of their Pacific Junction store and are confident flood mitigation efforts carried out over the past 32 months will prevent a recurrence of the 2019 natural disaster.

“We place Love’s in locations that are easy to access for professional drivers and four-wheel customers and the Mills County location fits that bill,” she said. “With the improved levee system and reduced risk of flooding, the company felt it was important to reopen this location to serve customers and get them back on the road quickly and safely.”

Campbell said the Pacific Junction store will offer the standard services and products found at Love’s locations across the country.

“It’ll have all the amenities Love’s is known for, including fresh food, snacks and coffee, a Mobile to Go Zone with today’s latest technologies, clean restrooms, a dog park and a Subway (restaurant),” she said.

Mills County economic development officials are applauding Love’s decision to reopen the Pacific Junction location.

“It’s a positive that Love’s is reopening,” Mills County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Marco Floreani said. “It’s another sign that people are coming back after the flood and hopefully a sign for more growth and development on that (Highway) 34 and I-29 corridor.”

Mills County business leaders and elected officials are continuing to monitor the progress of levee repairs and flood mitigation efforts.

“I think that we are always wanting to get updates and asking the engineers and the levee districts about the updates,” Floreani said. “We trust work is headed in the right direction to get things done but it always takes a lot of time and you have to be patient.”

“We’d love to see the work done in a timely manner.”

Floreani said the I-29/34 business corridor is identified as “highway commercial” and there continues to be strong interest in the site from potential business developers.

“We are always talking with developers,” he said. “At this time, I think there’s more interest in that corridor. Time is a big part of that because we’re a couple years out now (from flooding) and from a logistics perspective, that I-29 access is tough to beat. We’re getting a lot of questions and answering a lot of questions on that land.”

 

The Opinion-Tribune

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