‘It can’t be like that all the time’: Farmers recover from Fred amid inflation, weather worries

When Gary Griffith woke up a rainy Tuesday on Aug. 17, 2021, he never imagined that by the next morning, the 12 acres of green peppers he’d grown along the Pigeon River in Bethel would rest in drifts miles downstream, the unofficial symbol  of the catastrophic tragedy that was Tropical Storm Fred.  

This must be the place: Ode to the flood, ode to Cruso, Bethel and Canton

Sitting on a barstool at The Water’n Hole in Waynesville last Monday afternoon, I took a pull from the cold Budweiser bottle and let out a slight sigh. Stories and tales were being exchanged all along the bar counter about where folks were and what they were doing during “The Great Flood of 2021.” 

A year later, there is still much to be done

Earlier this week, I had started writing a column about the progress made in the year since the flooding from Tropical Storm devastated parts of Haywood County. Then, as I started talking to our writers about the stories they were preparing for this week’s edition — one year after the flood — I could tell they had the recovery efforts well covered. 

After the Flood: Trying times, trauma, trepidation and triumph

Hours earlier, Natasha Bright had been trapped atop a bunk bed in a barricaded bedroom with her dogs, her cats and her brother, watching the floodwaters from the furious Pigeon River rising through the floorboards beneath them, but after a long, cold, wet night the waters finally receded so with an armful of children’s clothing and mud squishing between her toes, Bright headed out of Cruso on foot into the pale sunshine looking for a shower.

Haywood Schools still face deluge of flood repairs

On Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 17, 2021, the second day of the school year, Haywood County Schools Superintendent Dr. Bill Nolte announced that school would be closed the following day. “Early and extensive flooding from Tropical Storm Fred” had damaged several roads used for bus routes, and there was uncertainty about scheduled food deliveries to the school system. It would be an optional workday for teachers, not a remote learning day for students.

Delivered through the storm: Cruso man’s struggle to rebuild eased by community’s compassion

Ben Wilson recently got around to looking at footage from security cameras at his home captured the day he watched the bloated East Fork of the Pigeon River shoot through his house as he clung to a tree.

When the next one comes: Emergency managers work toward flood preparedness

In the year since Tropical Storm Fred  ravaged Western North Carolina, emergency managers have been busy working to ensure that next time a wall of water tears through Haywood County, it will exact a much lower cost to life and property.

‘We just held on’
: A year after historic flood, Cruso family is still rebuilding

Handing an old red bandana back and forth to wipe away the tears emerging from their eyes, Wendy and Chuck Rector sit in two plastic Adirondack chairs on what was once a pristine property — a dream home of sorts, truth be told.

Haywood gets almost $400k for more flood mitigation

As the one-year anniversary of deadly flooding from Tropical Storm Fred approaches, Haywood County officials are still busy chasing down funding that will prevent or reduce the impact of future storms.  

Nearly one year on, Haywood strengthens flood response capabilities

Eleven months to the day after Haywood County awoke to unprecedented flood damage along the Pigeon River resulting from torrential rains the day before, Emergency Services Officer Zack Koonce and Director Travis Donaldson told commissioners they’d secured grant funding to bolster reporting and warning systems.

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