in southern US states of Louisiana and Mississippi have left at least three people dead as National Guard soldiers in boats and helicopters evacuated over 1,000 people from their homes and cars.
The development led Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards to declare a state of emergency on Saturday and describe the flooding in his state as “unprecedented, historic.” He also warned that the slow-moving storm was likely to dump even more rain and cause further problems.
In Louisiana, all seven major roads leading into Greensburg, a city near Baton Rouge, were reported under water and the town cut off by the severe floods.
Stranded residents have been pulled from cars and rooftops.
Local estimates of the rainfall in Louisiana stand at about 12 inches, indicating a 1-in-100 year to 1-in-500 year rainfall near the towns of Zachary and Greensburg. This is while the National Weather Service measured 17.09 inches of rainfall in the town of Livingston since midnight.
File photo of severe flooding in the US state of Louisiana (Reuters)
Meanwhile, searches were continuing for missing people with Gov. Edwards declaring, “This is an ongoing event. We’re still in response mode.” He further urged residents to heed warnings to evacuate and not rely on their past experiences because the state has never seen flooding like this before.
Mississippi and Alabama were also struggling with heavy rainfall.
In the town of Baker, just north of Baton Rouge, residents said they had to be rescued by boats or wade though waist-deep, snake-infested water to reach dry ground. Dozens of them awoke Saturday morning on cots at a makeshift Red Cross shelter only a few blocks from their flooded homes and cars.
Heavy rains have caused rivers to crest in Louisiana and neighboring Mississippi, closing schools and roads and stranding residents.