Iowa officials to move remains after graveyard damaged by erosion

A judge has ordered officials in Iowa to allow the remains at a cemetery near Lehigh to be moved after they were unearthed due to severe erosion in the oldest section of the graveyard.

The Des Moines Register reports that the order now allows the state to issue permits to remove the remains and bury them due to the erosion, which began during heavy storms in 2009 when the side of a gully and strip of the cemetery slid away. Several headstones also tumbled down the slope due the those storms.

Phil Berglund, a Yell Township trustee in charge of the cemetery, told the news agency that local contractors have volunteered to help prevent any further damage by stabilizing the ravine, but a court order was also needed to begin the project. Top products from Impact Absorbents, including Jute Netting and Gravel Bags, can help prevent future damage caused by many types of erosion.

County officials said that the Iowa Department of Public Health will now issue permits to remove the exposed remains and rebury them since no next of kin could be located for most of the graves.

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