One year later much of the debris from the storm was recently picked up at Laurel Bank Campground. Picture was taken on Aug. 9. Credit: Lilly Knoepp

One of the hardest hit areas when Tropical Storm Fred hit Western North Carolina was Laurel Bank Campground in Haywood County. Four campers were killed in the flood. Blue Ridge Public Radio (BPR) went back to the campground to see where it stands one year later.

Sherrie Lynn McArthur still spends most of her days on a golf cart getting around the campground but now there are piles of debris where there used to be campers. She’s the owner of Laurel Bank Campground

“It’s amazing that a year has gone by. Sometimes it seems like it’s been longer than a year. And then sometimes it seems like it was just a week ago,” said McArthur.

BPR visited one week before the anniversary of the flood as trucks were picking up some of the last piles of debris. The project took weeks.

“I don’t know how many truckloads they have taken,” said McArthur. “They started at the other end of the campground. Now they are down to the last pile.”

There’s been red tape in getting the debris removed. There are still about 10 waterlogged campers on the property. McArthur says that the state can’t remove structures that are still standing.

Snakes, bees and rats had taken up residence in the large piles of mangled metal, broken wood and personal belongings. Now they are all gone.

“Most all of it is picked up and gone. It was even sad seeing it taken off. The piles and the couches and the curtains and just things that you could recognize that were going to the dump – people’s personal stuff,” said McArthur.

The process of getting the debris removed was more complicated because the campground is private property.

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