Historic Flooding In Louisiana Claims 5 Lives, Leaves Thousands In Shelters
Historic flooding in Louisiana has claimed five lives, according the Associated Press. A women’s body was just found yesterday in a vehicle that was reportedly swept away in high water.
Over 10,000 people are currently in shelters following the disaster.
The Louisiana National Guard released a statement saying they rescued 3,400 people and 400 pets in the flooding since Friday. The AP says 20,000 people in total have been rescued.
“That’s what we are focused on, saving lives. We currently have 1,700 people mobilized. Those numbers will build up towards 2,000 and possibly as high as 2,500 as requests come in,” said Maj. Gen. Glenn Curtis, with the Louisiana National Guard. “We can also bring on military police and give police officers a chance to rest and check on their homes.” There are also nearly 195 high-water vehicles deployed to assist in the search and rescue operations. Rescue personnel distributed 600,000 sandbags to try to keep floodwaters back.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said “the federal government has declared a major disaster for the state of Louisiana” in a Facebook post. He also said the disaster is not over and urged Louisiana residents to stay vigilant and stay off roadways until floodwaters subside.
Twelve areas in Louisiana are affected by the flash flooding including: Ascension, Avoyelles, East Baton Rouge, Iberia, Lafayette, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, St. Helena, Tangipahoa, Vermillion and West Feliciana.
“Louisiana’s Guardsmen are trained, ready and equipped to stand up at any moment to protect lives and property, maintain communications, and ensure the continuity of operations and government,” according to the statement. Officials say a great deal of work remains to clean up following the disaster.