4 dead, 5 unaccounted for after severe storms in North Carolina

Southeast

HAYWOOD COUNTY, N.C. (WSPA) — At least four people are dead and five are unaccounted for Friday after severe storms in Haywood County, North Carolina.

The Haywood County Sheriff’s Office identified two victims as Frank Mungo, 86, and Franklin McKenzie, 68. Both men were from the Cruso community.

The other victim’s identities have not been released.

“We would like to extend our sympathies to all the families who have been affected by this tragedy and most especially to those who have lost loved ones,” said Sheriff Greg Christopher.

Twenty were unaccounted for on Thursday, NewsNation affiliate WSAP reported. As of Friday, seven people remain missing; the other 13 have been accounted for and reunited with family.

Emergency Management said 10 to 15 bridges are still out in the Cruso area, not including private bridges.

Samuel Hooper has lived in Cruso for 16 years.

“It took everything we have my car is up there in the front my other one is over yonder, and I have another one. I lost three vehicles, my home, and everything,” Cruso said. “Trying to salvage what I can. That’s about it.”

What has remained untouched has great meaning to him.

Emergency teams recalled the horrors of the last several days as they responded as quickly as possible.

“K9 teams are assisting our ground and swift water rescue teams again today,” said Sheriff Greg Christopher.

“They were drowning in phone calls while others were drowning in Cruso,” said Haywood County Emergency Services Director Travis Donaldson.

Hundreds from across the state are coming to help as those like Hooper wait for federal assistance.

“This is our community, and we will be there to take care of our community,” Christopher said. “They need to come in and stop and look at this. We have really lost everything.”

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Emergency services estimated hundreds had been displaced here in Western North Carolina by these severe storms.

Donation Centers have been established at Bethel Baptist Church off of Pigeon Road. In addition, pods have been established at Canton Baptist and through the county to distribute items to those in need.

Anyone in Haywood County who needs help and assistance is asked to call (828) 356-2022 instead of 911.

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