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Tropical Storm / Depression / PITA Fred has moved away from us and Landon is celebrating sunshine.
The remnants of Tropical Storm Fred rode up the spine of the mountains dropping ridiculous amounts of rain. Unlike many of the people in our area, we are fine suffering only a lengthy internet outage (Hu-Dad almost went into withdrawal). We’re celebrating sunshine and thinking of those who lost everything and, particularly, those still missing in the floods.
People don’t often associate tropical weather with the mountains, but we know from long experience how deadly it can be up here.
The storm surge is probably the worst part of a tropical system and we, obviously, don’t have to deal with that so far from the coast. We had enough of it in Murrells Inlet. Wind isn’t the biggest deal either. It certainly can be troublesome, but we can have stronger winds from “normal” storms.
Rain is the problem. Particularly when it comes down as hard and fast as it did this week. Most of the Asheville area received five to six inches of rain, but places west of us in our old home county of Haywood received well over a foot of rain. That drove the Pigeon River out of its banks, flooding communities like Cruso and Canton. Roads and bridges have been washed out, houses destroyed, and many businesses inundated. Local rescue crews performed numerous water rescues to remove people trapped in their homes.
As of this writing, 30 people remain unaccounted for in Haywood County. We’re hoping and praying that they are with friends and family and simply haven’t been located yet by officials.
These same communities suffered similar fates in 2004 when Hurricanes Ivan and Frances hammered us nine days apart from each other. Most of us who were here then look at this storm and see a repeat.
Cruso and Canton weren’t the only communities hit – just the worst. Even Asheville suffered a good bit of flooding, particularly in the Biltmore Village area right outside the entrance of the famed Biltmore Estate. Many other towns and communities up and down the mountains are dealing with the aftermath of mudslides and flooding.
So, for us personally, we’re dry, safe, and comfortable—Hu-Dad even has his internet back. Don’t worry about us.
But do take a moment to think a good thought for all of the people who’ve lost so much, the volunteers feeding and clothing those in desperate need, and the incredibly brave first responders who put their lives on the line to save others.
P.S. – If you want to help, here is a list of local Haywood County organizations who are working hard and fast to serve those in need.
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