tropical storm fred

Lilly Knoepp

Campgrounds are a way of life in Western North Carolina – and have been long before the current camping craze which helped bring more than 12-million visitors to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park last year.  BPR went to Laurel Bank Campground in Haywood County.  Camping there is more than a weekend activity or a vacation.  It’s life – and family. 

Sherrie Lynn McArthur still remembers growing up at Laurel Bank Campground in Cruso. She is now 66 years old.

Lilly Knoepp

  A second flood didn’t occur in Haywood County this week. Despite a voluntary evacuation, that allowed locals to continue their cleanup from flooding more than two weeks ago.  

The ground is still muddy outside Juke Box Junction Restaurant where Peter Constantian is sitting outside. He points to how high the water level in the Pigeon River rose during the flood.

“They said the water came all the way up to the floor boards, and maybe a little bit came through the floor boards but the basement was totally flooded,” said Constantian.  

Lilly Knoepp

Tuesday’s flash flood in Haywood County left business and homes mired in mud and debris. Here’s what the damage looks like on the ground:

The water of the Pigeon River pushed into the Canton and Cruso areas so high – that it’s still too early for a full assessment of the damage.

Muddy volunteers gathered at Bear Waters Brewing Company in downtown. Shaun Sandefur’s father Kevin is the owner of the brewery.

Scott McLeod / Smoky Mountain News

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(4p.m. Sunday)  Release from Haywood County Emergency Services: Search efforts today focused on locating the last remaining person still unaccounted for following Tropical Storm Fred.   Five individuals have been confirmed dead — Frank Mungo, 86, Franklin McKenzie, 68, Judy Mason, 73, Charlene Mungo, 83, all of Cruso have now been identified and families notified.

The fifth victim, Frank Lauer, Sr., 74, of Cruso was located today, and his family have been notified. “I extend my deepest condolences to Mrs. Lauer and her family. We are holding the Lauer family close in our hearts, and are praying for them now in the time of their loss,” said Sheriff Greg Christopher

A Shot Above/Allen Newland

Haywood County was ravaged last night by heavy rains and wind from the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred.

At least were 30 people unaccounted for on Wednesday afternoon after flooding caused evacuations in Haywood County.

The towns of Clyde and Canton were both on boil advisories because their shared water system is shutdown.

Canton Mayor Zeb Smathers was walking around downtown checking on local businesses when BPR spoke with him:

Allen Newland / A Shot Above photo

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(6:00 p.m. Wednesday)  Emergency crews were still conducting searches for people who remain unaccounted for in both Haywood and Transylvania Counties late Wednesday afternoon, 24 hours after heavy rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred flooded many portions of Western North Carolina.