Lousiana flooding has left two people dead and more than 1,000 have had to be rescued, according to a statement from Gov. John Bel Edwards on Saturday (August 13).
The Louisiana flooding has been going on for hours since the overnight hours of Friday (August 12) and Saturday, according to reports from CNN. It reports the worst flooding happening in and around Baton Rouge, the state’s capitol which lies north of New Orleans.
“‘There are record levels of flooding and cresting along rivers and creeks that will affect homes, roads, and driveways,’ he said.”
“‘This is a major disaster,’ the governor said. ‘This is an ongoing event and we are still in the response mode.'”
While Gov. Edwards has confirmed two people have died in the Lousiana flooding, it does not mean those will be the only fatalities. CNN said he confirmed to the news outlet that search and rescue operations are ongoing as the storms are expected to move west, drenching more of the state in what has been called “historic” rainfall.
According to reporting by The Advocate in Baton Rouge, Gov. Edwards himself has been displaced by the Louisiana floods and not only is he asking Louisiana residents to stay off the road, but he is also asking them to heed evacuation orders as his own family did because of rising flood waters in and around the state’s capitol city.
“The Governor’s Mansion has chest-high water in the basement, flooding the security operations,” the newspaper reported. “Edwards said the electricity has been turned off in the mansion and his family has evacuated to a State Police compound in the northern part of East Baton Rouge Parish.”
While the flooding situation has forced his family to vacate the ceremonial seat of power for Louisiana’s chief executive and commander-in-chief of the National Guard, his personal residence outside Baton Rouge was reported by The Advocate to have survived the flooding.
While the Louisiana flooding has appeared to be worst in and around Baton Rouge, Nola is reporting that the north shore – an area to the north of New Orleans – has also experienced significant flooding damage. With the storms on the move, the National Weather Service in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans areas have issued flash flood warnings in an effort to prepare residents for the possibility of life-threatening conditions, Nola said.
“A flash flood warning remains in effect until 1 p.m. Friday for that region, with another 2 to 5 inches possible. And a morning forecast warns that the bulk of the thunderstorms could move south and west toward the New Orleans metropolitan area in the late morning and early afternoon. A flash flood watch remains in effect for southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi until Saturday morning.”
In addition, there is also a flood warning along many rivers in the region and coastal shores in both Louisiana and Mississippi, Nola said.
While final rain totals have not yet been calculated, Nola – the online home of The Times-Picayune – is reporting radar-indicated totals approaching 10 inches or more in some areas.
“Radar indicated 10.55 inches overnight in Livingston, in Livingston Parish; 9.97 inches in Gloster, Miss.; 8.4 inches over most of St. Helena Parish; more than 7 inches from Osyka, Miss. to Kentwood; 7 inches from Roseland to Amite in Tangipahoa Parish, and 7 inches from Greenwell Springs to Watson in East Baton Rouge Parish,” the paper reported.
Not only are homes, businesses, and the governor’s mansion flooded, but Nola said Interstate 10 running through Louisiana is closed as a result of the state’s flooding. The same goes for Interstate 55 in the region.
CNN reports that the Louisiana National Guard has been deployed to assist Louisiana authorities in search and rescue operations.