HAYWOOD COUNTY, N.C. — A steady flow of Department of Transportation dump trucks hauled debris from the hardest hit areas in Haywood County, which saw devastating flash flooding Tuesday.
Highway Patrol officers man check points up the road into the Cruso community, where floodwaters washed mobile homes away and knocked houses off foundations, and where search and rescue teams are still looking for the missing.
Four people died and four are still missing in this mountain county west of Asheville.
All four of the dead were in the Cruso community along the Pigeon River: Frank Mungo, 86, Charlene Mungo, 83, Franklin McKenzie, 68, and Judy Mason, 73.
Heavy rains from Tropical Depression Fred brought torrential rain to the North Carolina mountains Tuesday. The rain caused flash flooding and mudslides in the mountains, with the worst reported in Haywood, Buncombe and Transylvania counties.
Haywood was the hardest hit, accounting for much of the damage and all of the fatalities. Officials still aren’t sure how many people were displaced by the flooding.
The flooding damaged and destroyed much of Canton, along the Pigeon River, including the police station, the fire department and the high school football field.
Much of Canton is still caked in mud. People worked to clean up schools, the hospital and the rest of the town.
“Heavy equipment teams are moving into the area and beginning the process of clearing the largest debris piles,” Haywood County said Saturday.
On the ridges above Haywood County, going up to the Blue Ridge Parkway, the evidence of flash floods and mudslides is everywhere. The DOT had trucks with snow plows attached in Pisgah National Forest to clear mud from roads. Crews were out in the national forest repairing damage to the long, steep roads over the ridge.
Western North Carolina communities, especially in Haywood County, will have a long road ahead to clear the debris, fix the roads and rebuild their homes and businesses.