11 die in Louisiana floods

The Myanmar Times - - World -

THE death toll from his­toric flood­ing in Louisiana climbed to 11 as the ex­pand­ing flood zone prompted au­thor­i­ties to de­clare dis­as­ters in 20 par­ishes of the south­east­ern Amer­i­can state.

While flood­ing re­ceded in parts of south­ern Louisiana, other ar­eas saw ris­ing wa­ters. The Na­tional Weather Ser­vice is­sued re­newed flood warn­ings.

“We’re see­ing un­prece­dented flood lev­els as the wa­ters move south,” Louisiana Gov­er­nor John Bel Ed­wards said at a news con­fer­ence on Au­gust 16.

Of­fi­cials said 40,000 homes have been im­pacted by the floods and more than 10,000 peo­ple were in shel­ters.

More than 20,000 have been res­cued or evac­u­ated, they said.

Twenty par­ishes – sim­i­lar to coun­ties in other states – were de­clared emer­gency disas­ter ar­eas, up from four on Au­gust 15 and 12 ear­lier on Au­gust 16.

The des­ig­na­tion frees up fed­eral money to aid with res­cue op­er­a­tions and emer­gency hous­ing, among other things.

“We’re just now mov­ing into re­cov­ery phase. We’re still res­cu­ing in the south­ern part of the par­ish,” said Lay­ton Ricks, the pres­i­dent of Liv­ingston Par­ish – more than 75 per­cent of which was af­fected by flood­ing.

There were re­ports of loot­ing in ar­eas where homes and busi­nesses were aban­doned by flee­ing res­i­dents.

Or­di­nary cit­i­zens in small boats – who in the last few days have earned the ti­tle “Ca­jun navy” – ap­peared to out­num­ber for­mal res­cue crews.

Among them were John Booth and Austin Tup­per of Baton Rouge. The two men in their 20s had trav­elled 32 kilo­me­tres south­east to the hard-hit town of Gon­za­les, where they were us­ing their pri­vate boat to help res­i­dents evac­u­ate. –

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