Louisiana Floods Leave Thousands Stranded, 3 Dead

Over 7,000 people were left stranded in Lousiana as historic flooding submerged entire neighborhoods, leaving three dead and several others missing, Reuters reports.

Governor John Bel Edwards said on Sunday that emergency-response teams have been working to pull people out of flooded homes and cars, and evacuate others in swamped health facilities in towns and cities across the southern parts of the state. Edwards has called for help in emergency relief funds from the government, even as parts of the US Gulf Coast prepares for more rain and floods.

The storm that swept the state with torrential rains and floods has moved west to Texas, but Louisiana residents are urged to exercise caution, said the governor in a press conference,

The waters are going to continue to rise in many areas, so this is no time to let the guard down.

Around 5,000 people stayed overnight in shelters, with many forced to sleep on the floor due to a lack of beds, said Marketa Walters, head of the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services.

Emergency crews are still looking at how to conduct rescues for more people trapped by the floods. Patients from hospitals, medical centers, and nursing homes were rescued from rising waters overnight, said Colonel Michael Edmonson of the Louisiana State Police. Helicopters are working to deploy food and water to those still stranded.

Shawn Wilson, Louisiana’s transportation secretary, said that most roads had been dammed by water and debris. Some 1,400 bridges will need inspection for damage when the waters have gone.

Over 1,700 members of the Louisiana National Guard have been helping in rescue efforts, and others are expected to join as requests for help have been coming in. James Waskcom, director of the Louisiana’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said, “We’re very much still in the search and rescue mode.”

Consistent rainfall is threatening to start more floods in the southernmost part of the state and into Texas. The National Weather Service kept a flash flood watch for Louisiana and Mississippi, along with southeastern Texas, including Houston.

Edwards called the flooding unprecedented and said that he is waiting for word on his request for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to declare a federal disaster for the affected areas of Louisiana.

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