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35 missing after remnants of Tropical Storm “Fred” hit North Carolina, U.S.


Heavy rains brought by remnants of Tropical Storm "Fred" triggered floods and mudslides in North Carolina after the storm made landfall near Cape San Blas, Florida1 on August 16, 2021. Fred then moved through parts of Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina while weakening. 

Its remnants brought heavy rains to the region, leaving at least 35 people missing or unaccounted for after floods ripped through the Canton area in Haywood County, North Carolina.

County officials described the floods around the Pigeon River in Canton as historic.

The river peaked at 6.02 m (19.76 feet) on August 17 near Canton, above Major Flood Stage of 5.79 m (19 feet). The East Fork Pigeon River above Canton reached a record high of 4.92 m (16.15 feet) on the same day, breaking the previous record high of 3.99 (13.1 feet). The river's Major Flood Stage in this area is 3.65 m (12 feet).

"At this time we have around 35 people still unaccounted for. Several people were located safe and reunited with their families, and several others were added to the list throughout the day as loved ones called in," NC Emergency Services Department said.

Roads and bridges sustained significant damage, especially in Cruso, with at least 10 – 15 bridges damaged or destroyed. Ten people had taken refuge in an emergency shelter in a school building in Waynesville.

Other affected counties include Jackson, McDowell, Madison, Mitchell, Rutherford, Transylvania, and Yancey which have all declared local states of emergency.2

NC Governor Roy Cooper issued the State of Emergency on August 18 to activate the state’s emergency operations plan.

In addition to 35 people unaccounted for, one person was killed after a car hydroplaned near Panama City, Florida.


The number of unaccounted for dropped to 20 after a day of search efforts. Unfortunately, 2 people were confirmed dead.3


1 Tropical Storm "Fred" to make landfall in the western Florida Panhandle, U.S. – The Watchers

2 USA – 98 Rescued, 35 Missing in North Carolina Floods After Rain From Tropical Storm ‘Fred’ – FloodList

3 2 Killed in North Carolina Fred Flooding; Several Still Unaccounted For – TWC

Featured image credit: Winston-Salem FD

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