( 4UMF NEWS ) Louisiana Flooding Leaves Six Dead:
The death toll in Louisiana rose to six late Sunday as emergency crews worked to rescue scores of people from surging flood waters.
Gov. John Bel Edwards warned that the flooding was “not over.”
Residents escaped homes filling with waist-deep water as authorities expected more rivers and creeks to crest with historic flood levels — some reaching at least 17 feet — by Monday morning.
Louisiana State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson urged residents to stay home to prevent more rescues for emergency crews.
Woman, dog rescued from submerged car in Louisiana flooding
“There’s not a curfew,” Edmonson warned at a press conference Sunday evening. “It’s not a sightseeing thing to go out and want to see this, especially at nighttime.”
Edwards said Sunday that at least 20,000 people have been rescued so far.
From the air, homes in the parishes of Tangipahoa, St. Helena, East Baton Rouge and Livingston, where the federal government declared a major disaster in the state, looked more like little islands surrounded by flooded fields.
From the ground, it was just as catastrophic. Drivers tried to navigate treacherous roads where the water lapped at the side or covered the asphalt in a running stream. Abandoned cars were pushed to the side of the road, lawn furniture and children’s toys floating through the waters. And in many places, the water was still rising.
A woman was found dead in a vehicle swept off the roadway late Saturday near the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport while trying to turn around, Baton Rouge Parish authorities said.
Another man was found dead after washing up on a riverbank in Tangipahoa Parish.
Retired Louisiana State University radio broadcaster Jim Hawthorne was one of several thousand people rescued on Sunday after worried relatives reported the 72-year-old as missing, according to the Advocate.
Hawthorne and his wife, Carol, spent two days trapped in their flooded single-story home with a dead cell phone battery. He tried screaming for help from the porch, but the rising waters forced the couple inside until a passing boat heard their cries.
“I yelled as loud as I could, and they heard me,” Hawthorne told the Baton Rouge newspaper. “I was in water up to my you-know-whats. I was yelling, ‘HEY! HEY!’ The motor stopped and they came around and came back.”
Stranded motorists who spent Saturday night stuck along Interstate 12 feasted on a produce truck’s fruits and vegetables until the National Guard rescued them.
Edwards said the storm has “subsided in its intensity” but he called on people to refrain from going out to “sightsee” even as the weather gets better. “This is a serious event. It is ongoing. It is not over,” said the governor.
Edwards, like his constituents, was forced to abandon the Governor’s Mansion when water flooded the basement.
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