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Resource & recovery website launched for people impacted by Haywood County flooding

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AUGUST 22, 2021 - Residents in Cruso, along with emergency crews, continued the process of cleaning up on Sunday, Aug. 22, in the aftermath of the severe flooding from Tropical Storm Fred Aug. 17, which hit Cruso and surrounding areas the hardest in the mountains. The death toll in the search and rescue efforts rose to five people Sunday, Haywood County officials said. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

Cleanup continues in Haywood County where deadly flooding swept across the region last week.

Search and rescue crews are back out looking for one person who remains missing. On Sunday, authorities found 74-year-old Frank Lauer, Sr, bringing the current death toll from flooding to five.

Cruso remains blocked off with only residents and workers allowed in at this time.



  • An emergency resource and recovery website launched Monday, Aug. 23, as a central location for citizens to find official resources and information for storm recovery.
  • The emergency shelter at Tuscola High School is now closed. Anyone still needed long or short-term shelter should contact the helpline number: 828-356-2022

During a press conference Monday, Haywood County Sheriff Greg Christopher said officials were investigating reports of possible looting at 10 homes in the Cruso area. He told press that the sheriff's office was stepping up patrol in the area and that the North Carolina State Highway Patrol had seven troopers patrolling the area. No arrests have been made so far.

Cleanup Efforts and info:

  • Verizon and AT&T Cellular services in the affected areas have now been restored.
  • Power has been restored to 95% of the Cruso community. The Chinquapin Road Bridge has been repaired and is open to traffic as of 9 p.m. last night.
  • Heavy equipment teams are moving into the area and beginning the process of clearing the largest debris piles. The Western North Carolina Flooding Home Cleanup Hotline number is — 828-222-3975.
  • Residents who are working on clearing debris from their properties are encouraged to document as much as possible with photographs before they move anything so that complete damage assessments can be made.
  • In the process of removing debris, please do not pile it into state roads. Doing so may block access to rescue vehicles and other essential traffic.
  • Building Inspectors from the Office of State Fire Marshall are going house to house performing damage assessments to homes impacted by Tropical Storm Fred. If inspectors determine that the damage is severe enough your electricity may be turned off to prevent further damage to property or life.
  • If your electricity is turned off, please go to Haywood County Building Inspections, 157 Paragon Parkway, Clyde NC 28721 to get a temporary electricity permit. Haywood County has waived the permit fee for this service.
  • For those returning to damaged homes, be aware that homes that have already been inspected will have color-coded tags — Red, Yellow, or Green, that signify the level of damage, red is severe, yellow, moderate, and green, minimal.
  • All homes that are tagged will need a permit to begin restoration work. Homeowners should seek the assistance of Haywood County Building Inspections at 157 Paragon Pkwy.
  • Mobile home restoration and repair will require evaluation & certification by a professional engineer, please ask the building inspection office for assistancd with this.
  • Residents hoping to access active search areas are being asked to present identification before entering restricted areas.

Storm Assistance Helpline:


Hours of operation: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Please call 828-452-6666 after 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Types of assistance available through the helpline:

  • Food, housing assistance
  • Special needs assistance
  • Volunteer or donation opportunities
  • Other storm-related needs


Where to donate items:

  • Helping Haywood: 289 Industrial Park Drive Waynesville
  • HCC Small Business Building: 144 Industrial Park Drive
  • **Please do not take donations to Bethel Baptist, as they are out of space.

Locations to receive assistance:

  • Bethel Baptist Church: 5868 Pigeon Rd, Canton, NC 28716 - clothing, children’s clothing, food, water, toiletries
  • Canton First Baptist Church: 74 Academy Street Waynesville - food, water, toiletries
  • Faith Community Church: 289 Industrial Drive Waynesville - food, water, toiletries
  • ** Those affected by storm damage will find meals are available at Bethel Baptist Church: 5868 Pigeon Rd, Canton, NC 28716