Tropical Depression Fred’s impact on Western North Carolina

The storm averaged more than 5 inches across Buncombe County from Aug. 16-17. | Photo by Stephan Pruitt

On Tuesday night, Tropical Depression Fred (previously a tropical storm) made its way through WNC and dropped more rainfall than Buncombe County has seen in over 50 years

The storm’s effects, which have included extensive flooding of the French Broad and Swannanoa Rivers, landslides, and power outages, have led Buncombe to declare a local state of emergency on Aug. 18, which will remain in effect until it’s rescinded or expires on Sept. 16. 

While no fatalities have been reported, there are more than 30 people in WNC unaccounted for as of Aug. 18. Various flood warnings remain in place near the French Broad River through Aug. 20. The Canton and Clyde areas also have a boil water alert in place as of Wed. afternoon. 

As our community does its best to handle Fred’s aftermath, we’re sharing the latest impacts of the storm, including road closures + local resources for storm victims. 

Photo by Stephan Pruitt

Know before you go

  • While road conditions may continue to fluctuate, Buncombe County advises using extra caution in flood and debris-prone areas such as Upper Hominy Creek, Enka, Candler, and Swannanoa. Do not drive around closed road barricades or approach any downed power lines.
  • The City of Asheville has an updated list of local street closures, which includes many roads near Biltmore Village and in the River Arts District. WLOS is keeping track of closures throughout the region. 
  • Areas of the Blue Ridge Parkway — particularly south of Mt. Pisgah — will remain closed until fully cleared
  • Due to flooded areas and fallen trees, detours are in place for several ART bus routes. Check the Service Alerts section of its website for the latest updates. 
  • Buncombe has also advised that residents utilizing the landfill and transfer station should exercise caution and expect delays. 

Helpful resources

  • Buncombe has opened a temporary shelter at Trinity Baptist Church (216 Shelburne Rd.) for those who are unhoused or have been forced to evacuate their homes. 
  • For flood damage, check out this list of phone numbers
  • There’s also disaster recovery information on the NC Emergency Management website.