Massive rains in southeast Louisiana have sent rivers over their banks, flooding wide areas of the state, with the death toll at 11 so far. About 30,000 people have been rescued, and about 40,000 homes have been damaged. The floodwaters that roiled Louisiana came after a stretch of rainfall that meteorologists said was likely to be seen, in some areas, only once every 1,000 years. The National Weather Service predicted scattered thunderstorms in the state on Wednesday, but officials said they did not expect the flooding to worsen substantially. Now that the waters have begun to ebb and the state sets its eyes on rebuilding.
Shelters were open into Wednesday morning, with one southeast of Baton Rouge housing close to 900 people, said Richard A. Webre, the emergency preparedness director in Ascension Parish.
The federal government declared a major disaster in the state, specifically in the parishes of Tangipahoa, St. Helena, East Baton Rouge and Livingston. Gov. Edwards said President Barack Obama called him and said the people of southern Louisiana were in his thoughts and prayers and that the federal government would be a solid partner.
“We are going to need volunteers to come and help individuals to muck out their homes, to get the mud out, to get wet drywall removed, to get carpets and ruined flooring out so that individuals will be able to get back in their homes as quickly as possible and be able to live there,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said on Tuesday.
If you live outside the New Orleans area but would still like to help, NOLA has tons of information on donating goods for people and animals alike here.
If you want to make a donation you can donate via the Red Cross here, just make sure you select the Louisiana Floods so that your money goes into the right hands.