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.

Plans for safe passage: Research yields 
recommendations to stem wildlife deaths on I-40

After more than three years of research and analysis, a group focused on ending wildlife-vehicle collisions in the Pigeon River Gorge has released a report outlining its recommendations for keeping them safe from traffic.

Beyond major: Cruso depth dwarfs 2004 figures

Though Tropical Storm Fred bears the brunt of the blame for last week’s flood, a cold front moving ahead of the tropical storm set the table for destruction. 

Flood of peppers: Fred strips fields prime for harvest

Rain was coming down hard as Gary Griffith surveyed his fields in Bethel, around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 17. Harvest season was in full swing, and before he went home to Ratcliff Cove, he wanted to make sure his 15 acres of peppers and cucumbers growing along the Pigeon River would make it through the storm. 

Haywood County Schools assess flood damage

Tropical Storm Fred ravaged portions of Haywood County last week, including several school properties. The school board called an emergency meeting Aug. 19 to hear reports of the flood damage. Following Superintendent Dr. Bill Nolte’s recommendation, students in Haywood County returned to school on Monday, Aug. 23.

How to help flood victims

As the floodwaters from Tropical Storm Fred recede, the full extent of the damage is becoming clear. Residents of Haywood County and beyond have rallied together to create avenues for donations and opportunities to support those in need. Countless churches, businesses and individuals are actively accepting and sorting donations. 

Many still missing in Haywood after last night’s floods

More than 30 people remain unaccounted for and search and rescue operations continue at this hour after heavy rainfall from Tropical Storm Fred slammed southeastern Haywood County last night, pushing the Pigeon River up over its banks.

The Pigeon River Flood of 2021

Editor's note: As the sun rose above Haywood County on the morning of Aug. 18, residents and first responders were hard at work surveying flood damage from the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred. Smoky Mountain News staff were there too, gathering photos and firsthand reports. This page will be updated throughout the coming days as photos and stories continue to arrive from across the county. 

Weighing the Pigeon’s future: Public hearing spurs robust turnout for and against paper mill permit

State of residence was the most visible dividing line in an April 14 hearing on the proposed terms for a renewed wastewater discharge permit at the Evergreen Packaging mill in Canton. 

Raising canes: River cane project protects environment, Cherokee culture

The sky shone an unbroken blue and afternoon sunshine cast sparkles on the lazy Pigeon River as a group of volunteers gathered in the mud-caked parking lot of Rivers Edge Park in Clyde Jan. 29. 

“This is a marathon, not a sprint,” said Adam Griffith, director of the Revitalization of Traditional Cherokee Artisan Resources Program at the Cherokee Preservation Foundation, holding a piece of dried river cane in his hand. 

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