‘And then it was too late’: Flood warning timeline reveals challenges of mountain forecasting

On the afternoon of Tuesday, Aug. 17, Rob Young was watching the rain fall. He watched it first through the windows of his office at Western Carolina University and then later at his home in Webster — and, continuously, on his computer screen, where ever-changing river depths were displayed through the state’s Flood Inundation Mapping and Alert Network, or FIMAN

Biden declares major disaster in Haywood County

More than three weeks after deadly flash flooding along the East Fork of the Pigeon River killed six and displaced hundreds, President Joe Biden announced that a major disaster exists and that federal assistance will supplement state and local efforts in the affected area.

‘We’re already left behind’: Following massive floods, Cruso residents getting frustrated

Standing next to a debris pile as tall as he is, Steve Chaney scans up and down U.S. 276 at the countless other debris piles, one for each home in Cruso that was ransacked by the devastating floodwaters two weeks ago. 

‘If the water got any higher, that was it’: Lifelong Cruso resident recounts ravaging flood

Sitting in a chair in an open bay of his garage Monday afternoon, Ronnie Hannah can’t help but smile knowing he’s alive following the flood that ripped through the Cruso community two weeks ago. 

Institutional donations roll into Haywood County

Although Haywood County still waits for news of a federal disaster declaration that would bring much needed resources to storm-ravaged areas, some of the area’s most prominent corporate citizens aren’t waiting around to pitch in and help. 

Devastation all around, but there is a light

The time stamp on the photo from my iPhone reads 7:29 a.m. It was Wednesday, Aug. 18, a mountain morning full of sunshine and a cool freshness that’s common after rain the day before. Turning onto Wells Road, which connects N.C. 215 and N.C. 110 in Bethel via a bridge across the Pigeon River, I got my first glimpse of the destruction that the river and the rain had wrought the previous night.

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. 

As deadly floodwaters recede, Haywood grapples with enormous loss

Huddled together in the dark atop a bunk bed in a barricaded bedroom with two dogs, four cats and her brother — all staring down at the rising floodwaters — Natasha Bright knew they were in trouble. 

‘We’re just lucky to be alive’: Flood survivor recounts day of destruction

It’s late Friday morning. With cloudy skies above and a cool breeze swirling around her, Aubrey Ford gazes out onto what’s left of her front yard and the multiple homes on her family’s property following the raging floodwaters Tuesday night. She lights a cigarette and exhales with a sigh.

Making sense of the unimaginable: Floodwaters ravage the tightly-knit mountain community of Cruso

It’s about a mile past Jukebox Junction, down along U.S. 276 heading towards the small mountain community of Cruso, when the strong, pungent smell of mud wafts into the open truck windows and up through your nostrils.

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