Death Toll Rises to 6 in Historic Louisiana Flooding; 20,000 Rescued
August 15, 2016
At least six people have died in severe flooding that has swamped a large swath of southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi.
- The federal government has declared a major disaster in Louisiana.
- 20,000 people have been rescued from flooded homes and vehicles.
- Louisiana and Mississippi are both under a state of emergency.
The federal government declared a major disaster in Louisiana Sunday after torrential rain inundated the state killing at least six people, flooding thousands of homes and prompting thousands of water rescues.
The death toll rose on Sunday when several more victims of the massive flooding in Louisiana were discovered by authorities, including a grandmother who drowned saving her grandson in Rapides Parish. According to KALB, the woman's vehicle was swept from a flooded road in Hineston.
Sheriff's officers told KALB they believe the adult and child escaped their sinking car, but were washed into Big Creek. Two women out for a walk heard screaming, and another bystander swam out to recover the child, who was clinging to a tree limb. An initial examination showed the child to be in good condition.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Sunday that more than 20,000 people had been rescued by all participating agencies and volunteers since the flooding outbreak began.
"This is a serious event," Edwards said. "It is ongoing. It is not over."
The governor said in a press conference Sunday that as many as 10,000 people were in shelters as a result of the widespread flooding.
The downpours have sent at least six river gauges to record levels in Louisiana. This includes the Amite River, which exceeded its previous record by over 6 feet in Magnolia, and by over 4 feet in Denham Springs.
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