HAYWOOD COUNTY, N.C. (WSPA) – 35 people are still unaccounted for after severe flooding from the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred inundated parts of Haywood County.
Officials said several people have been found safe but others were added to the list as their loves ones called in.
NC Governor Roy Cooper issued a state of emergency for areas of western North Carolina impacted by the flooding.
On Thursday, Gov. Cooper will meet with Canton Mayor Zeb Smathers, Haywood County Government leadership, Haywood County Sheriff Greg Christopher, and Emergency Services Director Travis Donaldson to discuss the state of emergency and conduct a brief tour of affected areas.
The state said 98 people have already been rescued from floodwaters.
Officials say some homes are destroyed and phone lines are down in some areas. Haywood County said there is significant damage to roads and bridges, especially in the area of Cruso.
10 to 15 bridges were damaged or destroyed.
A boil water advisory is in effect for the county. The City of Canton has no drinking water at this time, according to the sheriff’s office.
Flooding was reported throughout the area on Tuesday. The Haywood County Sheriff’s Office urged residents along the Pigeon River to seek higher ground.
10 people are being housed in an emergency shelter at Tuscola High School in Waynesville.
Anyone who needs assistance related to the storm should call 828-356-2022 between the hours of 8:00am and 8:00pm.
The Asheville Fire Department said they responded to assist in Haywood County with water rescues and landslides. The department said there are multiple water rescues due to flooded roads.
The Department of Transportation said a retaining wall collapsed along U.S. 19/23 in Canton. Both directions of that highway were closed while crews worked to repair the damage.
Landslides also temporarily shut down portions of Interstate 40 on Tuesday.
Sheriff’s Office encouraged people to stay home and off the roads if possible.
More than 250 responders from across the state are involved in the search and rescue effort.
North Carolina Emergency Management deployed swift water rescue teams and National Guard and Highway Patrol helicopter crews are also assisting in the search.
Around 11,600 customers remained without power in western North Carolina as of Wednesday afternoon.