4 dead, 5 still missing after flooding caused by Fred

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 21, 2021

RALEIGH (AP) — Two more deaths have been reported in connection with flooding from Tropical Storm Fred in western North Carolina, doubling the death toll to four, officials said Friday.

Haywood County Emergency Services said officials are working to identify the victims and notify their families and will release their names once that process is complete. By late Friday afternoon, five people were still missing, down from approximately 20 on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Haywood County Sheriff Greg Christopher released the names of two victims in the Cruso area, Frank Mungo, 86, and Franklin McKenzie, 68.

Another Fred-related death occurred in Florida earlier in the week after a driver hydroplaned and his car flipped into a flooded ditch.

Local officials are currently working to assess damage. According to the N.C. Department of Transportation, 23 bridges were closed in western parts of the state. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has said he will seek federal assistance, additional relief through the state budget and a plan to make the community more resilient for future storms.