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2021 Haywood County Floods, One Month Later: An Audio Postcard


On August 17th, historic flooding caused by the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred devastated Western North Carolina.  Haywood County was hit hardest, as six people were killed in the Cruso, Canton, and Bethel areas.To mark the one-month anniversary of the floods, the BPR news team put together an audio postcard of those who were there that day.  They told us what they saw, smelled, and felt - and how they're dealing and grieving one month later.

Those featured include -

  • Jeff Haynes, chief deputy Haywood County Sheriff's Office
  • Peter Constantian, pastor at Cruso United Methodist Church
  • Victoria Fox, resident of the Town of Canton
  • Kristina Smith, alderwoman for the Town of Canton
  • Lt. Tony Cope, Haywood County Sheriff's Office
  • Michaela Lowe, co-owner of The Southern Porch in the Town of Canton
  • Greg Christopher, Haywood County Sheriff
  • Zeb Smathers, mayor of the Town of Canton
  • Dr. Ralph Hamlett, alderman for the Town of Canton

This audio postcard will be part of a new episode of The Porch, a production of the BPR news team, which premieres Friday September 17th at 9 a.m. on Blue Ridge Public Radio.

Lilly Knoepp is Senior Regional Reporter for Blue Ridge Public Radio. She has served as BPR’s first fulltime reporter covering Western North Carolina since 2018. She is from Franklin, NC. She returns to WNC after serving as the assistant editor of Women@Forbes and digital producer of the Forbes podcast network. She holds a master’s degree in international journalism from the City University of New York and earned a double major from UNC-Chapel Hill in religious studies and political science.
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