Five Found Dead In Haywood County, Search Crews Still Looking For One

Aug 23, 2021

(4:00 p.m. Wednesday) As cleanup continues in Haywood County, locals have started a hub for the community to find photos lost in the flooding.

Chelsea White-Hoglen has been volunteered at Cruso Methodist Church, where community members have been giving out supplies and helping those who lost their homes.   Last week they realized that a lot of found possessions including photos and documents were being turned in.

“We figured if we started to post them on Facebook someone could identify them for us and then as folks are busy trying to save their homes we would be able to hold onto them and keep them safe,” said White-Hoglen.

That started the “Storm Fred Photo Recovery” page on Facebook. The page directs volunteers and community members to bring photos and documents to Cruso Methodist Church to be dried out, sorted and hopefully returned to the original owners. 

Just a week after the storm Storm Fred Photo Recovery already has almost 300 members.  Some places to connect for volunteer opportunities are Haywood Flood Help 2021 and recoverhaywood.com.

Here's more resouces on where to help across WNC. 

(4:35 p.m. Monday) Haywood County Emergency Services department is sharpening its focusing on damage assessment and getting resources to those in need. 

The county has launched a resource website that will serve as a hub for the community - recoverhaywood.com.  Emergency Services spokesperson Allison Richmond says it has information on storm-related needs, debris removal and donations. 

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“It creates that single point of information so that people can verify whether or not this source for donations is legitimate, where they can go to get resources if they need them, who our official resources are for clean up and just about anything you could need to know," said Richmond. 

United Way Haywood County is the official partner for flood recovery monetary donations. Richmond says the storm relief hotline on the resource page can also set up volunteer opportunities. That phone number is 828-356-2022.

“We need people to remember that the people who are in need are still going to be in need two, three, four weeks from now. And to pace themselves," said Richmond. 

As of Monday afternoon, there are still 60 families being sheltered.

(4:00 p.m. Monday) 

Six days later, and the search for the missing continues in Haywood County following flooding that devastated the Canton area.  Travis Donaldson, the emergency services director for Haywood County, gave an update Monday afternoon.

"Right now we are still looking for a missing person but we are still heavily engaged in damage accessment," said Donaldson. 

Five individuals have been confirmed dead — Frank Mungo, 86, Franklin McKenzie, 68, Judy Mason, 73, Charlene Mungo, 83, all of Cruso. 

The fifth victim, Frank Lauer, Sr., 74, of Cruso was located on Sunday, and his family has been notified. 

It was announced over the weekend that Haywood County Board of Commissioners Chair Kevin Ensley tested positive for COVID-19 on August 19th - the same day that Governor Roy Cooper visited Haywood County.

Ensley was vaccinated in March and is now isolating at home.

'We know that COVID vaccines help protect against serious illness and death, so I am grateful to have been vaccinated before testing positive. I am looking forward to a quick recovery and getting back to work as soon as my isolation period ends,” said Ensley in a press release.