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Louisiana Floods Leave Thousands Homeless

Low pressure system has moved into Texas, but there's still danger
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 14, 2016 5:21 PM CDT
Louisiana Floods Leave Thousands Homeless
Floodwaters reach the front steps of homes built on pillars near Holden, La., after heavy rains inundated the region, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Sunday that at least 7,000 people have been rescued so far.    (Max Becherer)

(Newser) – Robert and Gwen Arceneaux endured a sleepless night Sunday after noticing floodwater creeping into their home—in a neighborhood that had never seen water before. They gathered up their dogs and a few bags of belongings and fled out the back door, wading through waist-deep water to a passing National Guard truck. Now safe at a shelter, their worries aren't over, as they try to get medication for Robert, who suffers from lung cancer. Across southern Louisiana Sunday, residents scrambled to get to safety as rivers and creeks burst their banks, swollen from days of heavy rain that in some areas came close to two feet over a 48-hour period. The low pressure system that wreaked such havoc moved into Texas, but the National Weather Service warned that there's still danger of fresh floods, as swollen rivers drain toward the Gulf of Mexico.

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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Sunday morning that at least 7,000 people have been rescued so far. Three people have been reported dead and one person is unaccounted for. A rep for the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness says the flooding has damaged more than 1,000 homes in East Baton Rouge Parish, more than 1,000 homes in Livingston Parish, and hundreds more in other areas, including St. Helena and Tangipahoa parishes. Gov. Edwards declared a state of emergency Saturday, calling the floods "unprecedented" and "historic." He and his family were even forced to leave the Governor's Mansion when chest-high water filled the basement and electricity was shut off, reports the AP. (Read more Louisiana stories.)

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