Major disaster declaration granted for Western North Carolina counties damaged by Tropical Storm Fred, including Buncombe

Tropical Storm Fred Candler
The remnants of Tropical Storm Fred dumped several inches of rain across western North Carolina, resulting in devastating flooding and landslides.
From the Office of Governor Roy Cooper:

The White House and FEMA have granted Governor Roy Cooper’s Aug. 27 request for a major disaster declaration for seven North Carolina counties that were hit hard by floods after Tropical Storm Fred.

“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,” said Gov. Cooper.

The declaration for Individual Assistance covers Buncombe, Haywood and Transylvania counties. The Candler area of Buncombe County was among communities hard hit by the storm.

Residents of these counties may apply for Federal disaster assistance online at or via telephone at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or via the FEMA app.

Disaster Recovery Centers will open in the coming days for residents to apply for disaster assistance in person.

The declaration for Public Assistance covers Avery, Buncombe, Haywood, Madison, Transylvania, Yancey and Watauga counties. It provides federal reimbursement to county and state governments and some nonprofit organizations for much of the cost to respond to the storm and repair damaged infrastructure. This includes federal reimbursement for debris removal as well as search and rescue operations, hazardous material clean up, meals, generators, fuel and more.

The remnants of Tropical Storm Fred dumped several inches of rain across western North Carolina, resulting in devastating flooding and landslides. Five deaths were attributed to the storm that caused record-setting floods along the Pigeon River. Damage estimates to public infrastructure total more than $18.7 million. Damage estimates to private property include 56 homes destroyed and more than 200 homes that suffered major damage.


Local resources


An Emergency Services Call Center
is now available at 828-844-5455.


The number will be answered Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., with an afterhours voicemail option. 

In addition, affected residents have the following supports:

  • For building/structural damage in the City limits, please call the City of Asheville Building Safety Division at 828-259-5967 or email contact information to Structural damage should also be reported to an individual’s insurance company as soon as possible.
  • For a flood assessment to a building or structure within the City limits, contact the City of Asheville Floodplain Administration, Nancy Watford at 828-450-8317 or email contact information to
  • For City of Asheville sidewalk repairs or maintained streets, call 828-259-5852. Residents can also upload service requests to the Asheville App, a free app compatible with Android and Apple devices. Or click the “report issues” icon on the City of Asheville website.
  • For damage to state maintained roads, call 828-298-0390 or call 511.
  • Call 211 to be connected to local helping agencies.


Find more resources at this link on the Buncombe County government website.