Dead in 'Historic' Louisiana Flooding

Cheryl Sanders
August 30, 2016

A person is seen on the front porch of a home as it is surrounded by flood waters on August 16, 2016 in Port Vincent, Louisiana.

Taylor Swift is donating $1 million to Louisiana flood relief after torrential rains caused massive flooding in the state and killed at least 11 people.

There were scattered reports of looting, and Edwards said parishes with widespread damage would be placed under curfew beginning Tuesday night.

Receding floodwaters left behind an atmosphere of determination to recover mixed with disbelief and uncertainty.

Across the flood-stricken area, many residents said they weren't required to have flood insurance and didn't have it, since nothing remotely like this had ever happened before.

Dead in 'Historic' Louisiana Flooding

As the water receded, people donned surgical masks and began the back-breaking job of ripping out soggy carpet, drywall and insulation. They cleaned out spiders and cockroaches that had bubbled up through the sewer grates.

The Mississippi River runs straight through the state of Louisiana, and, while its capital Baton Rouge may have been in the news for the mass reaction to police brutality a little while ago, it is now in the news for something much more worrying. The Advocate reported that local residents said home invasions took place during the floods. "If we don't make it in time, we trash it".

Officials have been going house to house to ensure everyone was accounted for.

So far, more than 60,000 people have signed up for Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance, and a total of 20 parishes are under a federal disaster declaration.

"More than anything else, I'm proud that Louisianians are taking care of their own and people are being neighbors to one another", he said. Lori Steele, spokeswoman for the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office, told the Associated Press an estimated 75% of the homes were a "total loss".

A sign is seen along a flooded road on August 15, 2016 in Baton Rouge.

"We're seeing unprecedented flood levels as the waters move south", Edwards said, adding, "We're going to have standing water all over south Louisiana".

"My neighbour sent me a picture". Water was in the yard.

"So when I saw this coming, I took the few things of sentimental value, got all the cows, the puppy dogs", Henry said after feeding the bulls a batch of hay. "Judy and I think it's come up since then". Piles of debris from flooded homes and vehicles destroyed by the floods line the streets.

Holehouse points to similar issues in Safety Harbor, where properties with waterfront views are designated as being in "non-flood zones" despite the obvious potential risks.

"We are in as good a shape as you can expect with 70 per cent of our population flooded", Ramsey said.

With flood insurance, homeowners are prone to draining savings accounts and relying on federal disaster programs to rebuild and fix.

Rivers and creeks were still dangerously bloated in areas south of Baton Rouge as people filled sandbags there to protect their houses, bracing for the worst as the water worked its way south.

With floodwaters retreating in some areas and remaining in others, officials are still in recovery-and-rescue mode with more than 8,000 people staying in shelters.

Archer said knowing help is on the way and knowing people care can make a world of difference after a disaster. People check on their homes by canoe, horse and four-wheeler.

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