Fred Aftermath: Pop-Up Donation Center Receives Supplies For Flood Cleanup

Fred Aftermath: Pop-Up Donation Center Receives Supplies For Flood Cleanup

By Shelby Harris | Asheville Citizen-Times

As Haywood County continues to grapple with the aftermath of deadly flooding that tore through the area Aug. 18 caused by Tropical Depression Fred, hundreds of people are joining forces to offer aid to families whose homes were damaged or destroyed.

Ingles chimed in on Aug. 27 and gave a truckload of cleaning supplies to a pop-up donation center at BarkClad in Bethel.

BarkClad sits just past Cruso Road, the entrance to the small mountain town of Cruso, which is said to have been hit the hardest by the floods.

Related:’It’s gone. There’s nothing here.’: Cruso campground, nearby homes destroyed by flooding

More than 200 volunteers have passed out supplies since the warehouse was transformed into a donation center Aug. 19, BarkClad owner Danny Heatherly said.

“I’m right here in the middle of the community, so I had like four different ministries call me all wanting to set up here,” Heatherly said.

Heatherly worked with Hearts with Hands, a nonprofit relief group, to organize the donation center.

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One of the volunteers, Lewis Oats, contacted the Ingles warehouse in Black Mountain earlier this week about buying a pallet of bleach for the donation center.

Oats, who lives in Clyde, has been devoted to helping those suffering from the floods. Last week, he spent $350 on a pallet of water to donate at the center.

“He left me a message, and I had made up my mind that day that I was going to help whoever called,” said Karen Dotson, who works in administration at the Ingles warehouse.

Ingles donated 20 pallets of bleach and 100 containers of hydrogen peroxide wipes.

The supplies are intended to be used for Haywood’s cleanup, which is proving to be an expensive endeavor with at least 456 homes damaged during the floods, according to state Rep. Mark Pless. On Aug. 26, Haywood County Commissioners approved $5 million in spending on cleanup. The plan is for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reimburse the county funds used on recovery.

More:Awaiting FEMA aid, Haywood County flood rescue efforts turn to ‘search & recovery’

Haywood County Sheriff Greg Christopher said FEMA was on the ground in Cruso on Aug. 26, but neither he nor Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, who visited Haywood County Aug. 26, knew when FEMA was to complete its assessment of the damage.

Cruso alone was estimated to have $300 million in damage, Board of Commissioners Chair Kevin Ensley told the Citizen Times Aug. 19. Nearby Clyde had about $18 million in damage.

Shelby Harris is a reporter covering education and other topics. She can be reached at or on Twitter @_shelbyharris. 

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