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Three killed, thousands rescued in southeast Louisiana floods

Police also were rescuing people from dozens of cars that were stranded on a miles-long stretch of Interstate 12, which was closed from Baton Rouge to Tangipahoa Parish.


Three killed, thousands rescued in southeast Louisiana floods

Baton Rouge (US): Emergency crews worked through the night to rescue scores of south Louisiana residents from homes and stranded cars as deadly flooding continued to inundate large swaths of the region on Sunday, three days after rain-swollen water levels began rapidly rising.

Mike Steele, spokesman for the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said there was an overnight spike in flood rescues in the eastern part of Baton Rouge. He said two nursing homes in that area were being evacuated.

Police also were rescuing people from dozens of cars that were stranded on a miles-long stretch of Interstate 12, which was closed from Baton Rouge to Tangipahoa Parish.

"It never slowed down last night," Steele said today morning. "For the last few hours, there has been just as much activity as at any point."

Steele said the flooding that started Friday 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.

At least three deaths have been blamed on the flooding.

Steele said the Louisiana Nation Guard alone had rescued more than 3,000 people from floodwaters as of midnight, and that number was bound to continue rising today.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency, 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.

"That's never happened before," said the governor, whose family relocated to a state police facility in the Baton Rouge area.

The governor toured flood-ravaged areas by helicopter later yesterday after rivers and creeks burst their banks and warned Louisiana residents it would be too risky to venture out even after the rains start to subside.

In addition to the three confirmed deaths, Edwards said, at least one person is missing.

One of the worries, the governor said, is that as the rain lessens in the next several hours, people will become complacent and feel too at ease in areas where waters may still be rising for several days, getting in cars in areas that could still be dangerous.

"I'm still asking people to be patient. Don't get out and sightsee," Edwards said. "Even when the weather is better, it's not safe."

From Zee News

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