ALEXANDER COUNTY, N.C. (WJZY) – As the current from the floodwaters grew stronger, 1-year-old Mason Flowers was being held by his grandfather near their home at the Hiddenite Family Campground.
The banks of the South Yadkin River overflowed last Thursday morning, sending raging rapids into the campground.
Mason’s grandfather gripped the little boy with all his strength, but the water was too much. The little boy was ripped from his grandfather’s hands. His body was found the next day.
“It’s impossible to imagine what that would be like,” said Beth Korte, whose family owns the campground. “But he’s strong and he’s got to stay strong for his other grandkids. He’s taking it little steps at a time.”
Korte’s family has owned the campground in Alexander County for two decades.
Many of the people staying there last Thursday are year-round residents. The tight-knit community is in deep mourning after five of their own were killed.
“Kind of shell-shocked,” said Korte. “It’s a lot to take in.”
More than 30 people had to be rescued from the flooding water.
Korte said her husband, Kent, was up until 4:30 that morning checking the water. That’s when he went to bed, thinking it would be fine. An hour later a neighbor called and the entire campground looked like a river.
“The campers just started rolling through the campground and they just rolled from one end to the other end. With people in them,” Korte said.
Among the five killed were Crystal Reed and her 18-year-old son Ty. Ty was his mother’s full-time caretaker and was described as an “older brother” type in the community.
Tina Allen and Ron Wintemute are the other two victims identified Monday by the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office.
The American Red Cross announced Monday night they were working with the victims of the flooding. Other organizations have also stepped up.
The East Taylorsville Baptist Church is taking monetary donations to get the family’s back on their feet. The church is also providing temporary shelter at a local hotel for more than a dozen people.
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