More deaths have been reported as emergency officials carry out damage assessments after the devastating floods in Haywood County, North Carolina.
Four people have now lost their lives in the floods after officials in the county announced 2 further fatalities on 20 August. Five people remain unaccounted for, a number which has dropped considerably from the initial 35. About 200 rescuers continue searching for the missing in homes and buildings along the Pigeon River which reached record levels. More than 105 people and 23 pets have been rescued from floodwaters in western counties since Tuesday. In a statement, Sheriff Greg Christopher said:
“It is with great sadness that we announce that two additional victims of the flooding from Tropical Storm Fred have been located and recovered. Identification and family notification are underway, and more information about the individuals will be released after that process is completed.
“We would like to extend our sympathies to all the families who have been affected by this tragedy and most especially to those who have lost loved ones.”
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper surveyed the flood damage during a visit to the Town of Canton and the community of Cruso in Haywood County.
“People in western North Carolina were hit hard by Tropical Storm Fred and we’re committed to providing all of the available resources to get them the help they need,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Our prayers are with everyone who has been impacted by this storm.”
Governor Cooper issued a State of Emergency Wednesday to activate the state’s emergency operations plan and waive transportation rules to help first responders and the agriculture industry. The state of emergency also covered the counties of Jackson, McDowell, Madison, Mitchell, Rutherford, Transylvania and Yancey. The governor said he will seek federal assistance, additional relief through the state budget and a plan to make the community more resilient for future storms.