Baby, four adults killed in floodwaters at NC campground identified

Baby, four adults killed in floodwaters at NC campground identified
A 1-year-old baby is among five people who were found dead after floodwaters overtook a campground in Alexander County Thursday. (Source: Caroline Hicks)

ALEXANDER COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - The names of the five people who were killed in the flooding at a campground in Alexander County have been released.

The tragic incident happened Thursday morning at the Hiddenite Family Camp Ground off of Princess Lane near the South Yadkin River as heavy rains came down across the Carolinas.

Thirty-one other campers were rescued as floodwaters overtook the campground. The search for the five victims would last until around 4 p.m. Friday.

On Monday, officials identified all five victims as 1-year-old Mason Lee Flowers, 76-year-old Ronald James Wintemute, 49-year-old Crystal Dawn LeVan Reed, 18-year-old Tyrell Jordan “Ty” Reed and 52-year-old Tina Ann Allen.

Officials say the Reeds and Allen were recovered on Thursday, while Flowers and Wintemute were found on Friday.

Crews who were searching for the five victims, who were missing, said Flowers was the last person considered missing before officials recovered his body Friday afternoon.

N.C. CAMPGROUND UPDATE

WATCH LIVE: Alexander County officials are providing an update after flooding overtook a campground Thursday, leaving five people dead, including a 1-year-old baby. https://bit.ly/2IxVZDa

Posted by WBTV News on Friday, November 13, 2020

Sheriff Chris Bowman said Flowers was found 800-1,000 feet away from where the child was swept away.

As Bowman spoke to reporters he was overcome with emotion and had a tough time talking about what happened.

“I keep thinking about my grandson,” Bowman said. “I feel for the family.”

Baby's body recovered after being swept away by floods

On Friday, county emergency services had four assessment teams on the ground across the county to determine the extent of the damage.

The doors to the campers previously could not be opened due to high water as emergency personnel continued the search.

Charlotte Fire officials said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management received a request for the Charlotte Fire Department to deploy to Alexander County and assist Hiddenite with flood conditions.

At least of 36 members of CFD Task Force 3 deployed with swift water and urban search and rescue assets.

Melissa Frye was on the scene Thursday morning after learning that three of her family members were evacuated, but her ex-sister-in-law was missing.

“She got washed down the river," Frye told WBTV. "They haven’t found her yet.”

She said she was trying to get answers regarding the search process.

“I’m feeling lost, I’m sitting here praying to God that she’s okay and that she’s caught onto something and that they’ll find her," she said.

Alexander County Sheriff Chris Bowman said he is confident in his department and the crews from surrounding areas that came to help.

“Alexander County, when tragedy happens, the people come together," Sheriff Bowman said. "And they’ve done this in this situation, too.”

33 people rescued from floodwaters at Hiddenite Family Campground

Alexander County experienced major flooding during the storm with approximately 7-10 inches of rain overnight. Approximately 50 roads across the county have been compromised, with four bridges washed out.

The Conover Fire Department responded to the area for the water rescues around 6 a.m. Thursday. Crews took boats to the campers and residents and brought them to higher ground.

Alexander County Emergency Services opened a storm shelter at East Taylorsville Baptist Church at approximately 7 a.m. for those affected by the flooding. There were 13 people in the shelter as of Friday afternoon.

Some patients were treated by EMS, but their conditions were not provided.

There are several ways set up to help the victims of the flooding:

  • Donation sites: East Taylorsville Baptist Church, Alexander County Health Department and Social Services Department
  • Clothing donations: Salvation Army or Christian Crisis Center
  • Cash donations: ContinueToGive.com/ETBC

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