5 dead after severe storms in Haywood Co.

State News

UPDATE (8/22) – A fifth victim has been identified as 74-year-old Frank Lauer Sr., of Cruso. Search teams are working to locate one person still unaccounted for.


UPDATE (8/21): Haywood County Emergency Services said Saturday that four are dead and another four remain unaccounted for following Tuesday’s severe storms.

The four deceased victims were identified as 86-year-old Frank Mungo, 68-year-old Franklin McKenzie, 73-year-old Judy Mason, and 83-year-old Charlene Mungo, all of Cruso.

This is a WSPA update. Previous versions can be seen below.


Haywood County Emergency Services Officials said on Friday afternoon that two additional people are dead and 5 are unaccounted for after severe storms Tuesday.

Their identities have not be 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.


HAYWOOD COUNTY, N.C. (WSPA) – The Haywood County Sheriff’s Office said two people are dead and seven people are unaccounted for Friday after severe storms in Haywood County.

The sheriff’s office identified the two victims as Frank Mungo, 86, and Franklin McKenzie, 68. Both men were from the Cruso community.

We previously reported that 20 people were unaccounted for on Thursday. As of Friday, seven people remain missing, the other 13 have been accounted for and reunited with family.

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

Ayla Ferrone took viewers on a walking tour of some of the damage.

Samuel Hooper has lived here 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,” he said. “Trying to salvage what I can. That’s about it.”

What has remained untouched has great meaning to him.

“My son in law and them brought me things that. I didn’t. They’re here,” Hooper said.

He is one of the lucky ones.

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

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

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

“This is our community and we will be there to take care of our community,” Sheriff Christopher said.

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

“They need to come in and step and look at this. We have really lost everything,” he said.

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

Donation Centers have been established at Bethel Baptist Church off of Pigeon Road. 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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