While torrential rains were expected to ease in flood-ravaged Louisiana on Monday, forecasters warned the threat was far from over. Louisiana has been hit by a deluge of rainfall since last week, with at least seven people dead and thousands of homes damaged by historic floods.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said officials “won’t know the death toll for sure for several more days.”
President Barack Obama on Sunday signed a disaster declaration for the state, freeing up federal aid to support recovery efforts in the affected areas. Drone footage captured entire neighborhoods under waist-high muddy waters and cars completely submerged as boats cruised down the streets of Baton Rouge.
More than 20,000 people have been rescued from the floodwaters and over 12,000 remained in shelters Sunday night, according to Edwards.
“It’s not over,” he warned. “The water’s going to rise in many areas. It’s no time to let the guard down.”
Edwards was himself an evacuee: chest-high waters filled the basement of the Governor’s Mansion and cut off electricity, forcing him and his family to seek shelter elsewhere.
At least six rivers have hit record levels in Louisiana since the deluge began on Friday, according to The Weather Channel. It said the Amite River exceeded its previous record by over 6 feet in Magnolia.
One bit of brighter news for Louisiana is that the state won’t see as much heavy rain on Monday, according to Weather Channel meteorologist Kevin Roth.
However, he explained that it’ll be some time before the flood waters recede.
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SOURCE: NBC News, Cassandra Vinograd