Torrential rains have devastated parts of Louisiana over the past couple of days:
The federal government declared a major disaster in Louisiana Sunday after torrential rain inundated the state killing at least four people, flooding thousands of homes and prompting thousands of water rescues.Absolutely devastating.
...Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Sunday that more than 20,000 people had been rescued by all participating agencies and volunteers since the flooding outbreak began.
"This is a serious event," Edwards said. "It is ongoing. It is not over."
The governor said in a press conference Sunday that as many as 10,000 people were in shelters as a result of the widespread flooding.
The downpours have sent at least six river gauges to record levels in Louisiana. This includes the Amite River, which exceeded its previous record by over 6 feet in Magnolia, and by over 4 feet in Denham Springs.
Mike Steele, communications director for the Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, told weather.com on Sunday that there was a huge spike in flood rescues Saturday into Sunday, mostly in the eastern half of Baton Rouge into Denham Springs.
"It's kind of an all hands on deck," he said in a phone interview. "We still have a situation where motorists are stranded on I-12, and it remains closed between here and St. Tammany Parish, so the whole interstate system from Baton Rouge to that location is still closed."
...Steele said more than 1,000 homes have been flooded in Baton Rouge, and that number that is expected to climb. In Livingston, more than 1,000 homes have been flooding, along with 200 in St. Helena Parish, and 500 or more in Tangipahoa Parish. Apart from residential damage, Steele said they are also monitoring nursing homes and hospitals in the area that could be impacted by rising water.
Steele said the Louisiana Air National Guard has about 200 full-time employees working, plus about 750 guardsmen that have been deployed, a number that could climb to 1,000 soon. Additionally, he said 160 high water vehicles were in use as of last night, along with 35 watercraft, which brought the LANG rescue total to more than 3,500 people and 166 pets as of Sunday morning.
My thoughts are with everyone in the affected area, which includes one of my colleagues at BNR, who has asked that people keep the people in the affected area in their thoughts and prayers, if you're a praying person.
Please feel welcome and encouraged, as always, to recommend ways to help in comments. And let's keep this an image-free thread.