Four people were killed and four others were still missing after floods wiped out homes in western North Carolina last week in the wake of Tropical Depression Fred, authorities said.
The search for flash flood victims continued in Haywood County, according to an update posted on the county’s Facebook page on Saturday. The remnants of the tropical depression brought more than 10 inches of rain to the province on Tuesday.
All four people who died were from Cruso, NC, where homes were swept from their foundations after the Pigeon River overflowed, officials said. The floods washed away bridges and blocked roads with piles of rubble.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper toured the area on Thursday and issued a state of emergency. “You hope you can find everyone,” Mr. Cooper said at a press conference. “After a sudden flood, it’s chaotic.”
Mr Cooper said the North Carolina Air National Guard helped search for victims of the flooding.
County officials estimate that the flood caused at least $300 million in damage and destroyed 225 buildings in Cruso, noting that the estimate did not include damage in the towns of Canton and Clyde.
“If you’re flooded, you almost have to start all over,” Mr. Cooper said.
On Saturday, officials said teams with heavy equipment arrived and began clearing large mounds of debris. They urged residents not to pile up debris on state highways, which they said would hamper search efforts.
Residents seeking access to areas where the search was underway were required to provide identification, authorities said.
Rescuers had initially said on Wednesday that at least 30 people had gone missing in Haywood County after the flash floods. It was not immediately clear on Sunday how many were still missing.
Parts of the Southeast were still cleaning up after Fred brought heavy rains and several tornadoes to the region last week.
In Tennessee, authorities reported on Saturday that at least 10 people had died and dozens were missing in catastrophic flash flooding.
Fred made landfall near Cape San Blas, Florida, on Aug. 16 as a tropical storm. President Biden later approved a declaration of emergency for 23 Florida counties, and the storm caused flooding in some areas.
It was the sixth named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. The storm had previously made landfall in the Dominican Republic and brought heavy rainfall to eastern Cuba and some of the Bahamas.