Our public health crisis is not over yet

Allison Richmond • Guest Columnist | Haywood County is struggling to cope with a very unusual situation, two separate states of emergency happening at the same time. A month and a half ago, historic flooding brought loss and anguish to our community, and while that is devastation enough, for nearly two years now COVID-19 has threatened the health of every one of us.

Haywood County tourism just had its best year in history

After emerging from the early stages of the Coronavirus Pandemic virtually unscathed, Haywood County’s lodging industry rebounded with a year that exceeded all expectations. 

Dueling rallies in Haywood highlight persistent divisiveness

If anyone thought that the political polarization of 2020 died with President Donald Trump’s election loss that year, they’d need only look to a noisy pair of competing actions in Haywood County last Sunday. 

The weight of the wait: Local governments look forward to FEMA reimbursements

The aftermath of deadly flooding that killed six people in the Cruso community of Haywood County on Aug. 16 saw federal, state and local governments spring into action. 

Haywood County Schools has $10.5 million in flood damage

Beginning Sept. 20, students at Central Haywood High School will return to part-time in-person learning. These students have been learning remotely since flooding from Tropical Storm Fred caused severe damage to the school building in Clyde. 

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. 

This must be the place: Ode to the green peppers, ode to the people of Haywood

The green peppers. All of those damn green peppers. Throughout the coverage of this devastating flood from Tropical Storm Fred last Tuesday here in Western North Carolina, I keep seeing green peppers. Everywhere. 

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. 

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. 

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