The Greater Asheville, N.C., area experienced severe rainstorms and torrential rain on Tuesday, August 17, 2021. Mount Pisgah Academy (MPA) students and staff experienced minimal power outages and minor flooding. Meanwhile, staff who had errands to run off campus had increased travel times due to flooding that caused closures on Smokey Park Highway, the main road off which MPA is located. The flooding forced all residents living off Monte Vista Road to travel along one road, causing major slow-downs and delays. However frustrating power outages and traffic are, though, MPA was blessed compared to other areas in the Asheville area.
Homes in Canton and Haywood County experienced the most damage, with severe flooding caused by the river that flows through town. Residents had flood waters rising in their homes, while vehicles and trailers floated away. As the waters receded, the devastating damage became more visible. Mount Pisgah Academy students and staff wanted to help with the efforts. MPA juniors and seniors volunteered to travel to Canton on Friday, August 20, to assist with flood clean-up. The students cleaned out mud from homes and washed the outside of houses. With so much left to do, more students headed out on Sabbath to assist in the local area.
Not only were the residents grateful for the help, but the experience changed the perspectives of the students. It can be easy to become frustrated with minor power outages and having to walk to class in the rain. Meanwhile, others are suffering from damaged homes, while the students have dry dorm rooms. One student shared her outlook on the experience.
“Seeing all the furniture and items outside of the houses was surreal. On campus we had been complaining about the stairs and sidewalks being flooded, but that was nothing compared to this,” said Emma Boughman, ’22.
Carolina | December 2021