Flooded-Out La. Governor Declares State of Emergency

The state is about to get even wetter
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 13, 2016 8:39 AM CDT
La. Declares State of Emergency Over Flooding
Michael Ugbo, 5, holds the hand of a St. George Fireman as residents are evacuated from floodwaters due to heavy rains in in Baton Rouge.   (Gerald Herbert)

More rain Saturday was expected to swamp already soggy ground across Louisiana and other parts of the Gulf Coast where at least two people died and dozens had to be rescued from waist-high water surrounding their homes. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency as rescue workers in the southeastern part of the state braced for more precipitation, the AP reports. Edwards had been in Colorado for a policy meeting of the Democratic Governors Association but left early to return to the state because of the storm, a spokesman says. Flooding has even affected the Louisiana Governor's Mansion in Baton Rouge, which has a flooded basement. The governor's family has been relocated until the situation is resolved, reports WAFB.

Numerous rivers in southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi are overflowing their banks and threatening widespread flooding after extreme rainfall that began late Thursday, the National Weather Service says. Meteorologist Mike Shields, with the service's Slidell, Louisiana office, says a flash-flood watch will remain in effect through Sunday. "Potentially, additional heavy rain from 4 to 8 inches can be expected west of Interstate 55 and lesser amounts east of there as the system continues moving further west," he says. Mike Steele, a spokesman for the Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, says requests are coming in for high-water vehicles, boats, and sandbags. (Read more Louisiana stories.)

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