This must be the place: Ode to the green peppers, ode to the people of Haywood

The green peppers. All of those damn green peppers. Throughout the coverage of this devastating flood from Tropical Storm Fred last Tuesday here in Western North Carolina, I keep seeing green peppers. Everywhere. 

Devastation all around, but there is a light

The time stamp on the photo from my iPhone reads 7:29 a.m. It was Wednesday, Aug. 18, a mountain morning full of sunshine and a cool freshness that’s common after rain the day before. Turning onto Wells Road, which connects N.C. 215 and N.C. 110 in Bethel via a bridge across the Pigeon River, I got my first glimpse of the destruction that the river and the rain had wrought the previous night.

Beyond major: Cruso depth dwarfs 2004 figures

Though Tropical Storm Fred bears the brunt of the blame for last week’s flood, a cold front moving ahead of the tropical storm set the table for destruction. 

Flood of peppers: Fred strips fields prime for harvest

Rain was coming down hard as Gary Griffith surveyed his fields in Bethel, around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 17. Harvest season was in full swing, and before he went home to Ratcliff Cove, he wanted to make sure his 15 acres of peppers and cucumbers growing along the Pigeon River would make it through the storm. 

How to help

Haywood County Government urges those interested in donating time to help with relief and recovery efforts to visit recoverhaywood.com and click the "Volunteer" option at the top of the page for registration information.

Finding Flood Assistance

For those in need of assistance, www.recoverhaywood.com  is the best source for all information. 

As deadly floodwaters recede, Haywood grapples with enormous loss

Huddled together in the dark atop a bunk bed in a barricaded bedroom with two dogs, four cats and her brother — all staring down at the rising floodwaters — Natasha Bright knew they were in trouble. 

Haywood School Board reverses course, mandates masks

At an emergency meeting Saturday, the Haywood County School Board voted 5-2 to mandate masks and enact a plan that will adjust masking policy based on the weekly averages of positive COVID-19 cases. 

Shining Rock begins school year in new, permanent home

The quiet calm of a bright summer morning dissipates like dew off the freshly manicured lawn upon entering Shining Rock Classical Academy. Inside, the back-to-school energy is palpable. 

Living high with the hogs: Mountain hog farm revives historic breed

Morning cool still hangs over the grassy fields at Smoky Mountain Mangalitsa Farm  as Catherine Topel approaches a pair of 350-pound sows with a bucketful of breakfast. 

Smokey Mountain News Logo
SUPPORT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND
INDEPENDENT, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM
Go to top
Payment Information

/

At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.