The president approved a federal disaster designation for three counties in the North Carolina mountains that had flash flooding from Tropical Storm Fred last month.

Flooding from the storm damaged more than 680 homes and killed six in western North Carolina on Aug. 17. President Joe Biden's disaster declaration covers people in Buncombe, Haywood and Transylvania counties.

The declaration means federal funding can assist with temporary housing, home repairs and low-cost loans to help cover losses of uninsured property in the worst-hit counties.

Federal money will also be available to help local, state and tribal governments and nonprofits for emergency repairs or to replace facilities damaged in the storm in Avery, Buncombe, Haywood, Madison, Transylvania, Watauga and Yancey counties. Funding will also be available for cost-sharing on hazard mitigation measured around the state.

When the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred passed over western North Carolina, it dumped several inches of rain on the area and set off flash flooding and mud slides. The six people who died were all caught in flooding on the Pigeon River in Cruso, a small mountain community in Haywood County.

Gov. Roy Cooper requested the federal disaster designation on Aug. 27.

“The people of Western North Carolina took a devastating blow from Tropical Storm Fred’s flooding,” Cooper said at the time. “Federal assistance is needed to help rebuild and become more resilient ahead of future storms.”


Cooper was thankful to see the region get the recovery funding the area needs.

“This federal disaster declaration will help provide assistance for Western North Carolina communities to rebuild stronger and smarter, and I appreciate the president’s approval of our request,” Cooper said Wednesday.