By Tony Nwanne
So far, nine people have been killed and thousands evacuated to emergency shelters after waterways in the southern part of the state overflowed their banks in Louisiana, USA.
Some areas have received more than 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rain since late Thursday, submerging vast swaths of southern Louisiana in muddy waters.
“Our state is currently experiencing a historic flooding event that is breaking every record,” Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said in a statement late Monday.
“This event is ongoing, it is not over,” he said. “We do not know when the floodwaters will recede, and they will continue to rise in some areas.”
About 30,000 people had been rescued, including a 78-year-old woman who spent a night in a tree, Louisiana State Police Superintendent Colonel Mike Edmonson told CNN.
There were 14,000 people staying in shelters, mostly in the state capital Baton Rouge and surrounding communities, he said.
Police said the Louisiana National Guard would assist evacuees in the massive shelters, which included a Baton Rouge film studio complex and an entertainment center in the city’s downtown area.
A helicopter survey late Monday by the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office showed large areas of submerged land. Muddy water covered roads, forested areas, and residential zones, cars and even the better part of some dwellings.
Seven people were confirmed dead, Edmonson said, noting the toll could rise in coming days.
“Once the water recedes, all these homes that are completely covered with water, we got to go to every single one of those and go inside of them and check for anybody who might be in those areas,” he told CNN.
Some 40,000 homes and business were reported without power.