Louisiana is being ravaged by massive flooding that has killed seven people thus far, and left thousands displaced. Torrential rains drenched Baton Rouge and surrounding areas over the last week though the weather cleared up on Monday (Aug. 15).
“The flooding isn’t over, because all the water that’s upstream has to flow downstream,” meteorologist Kevin Roth said. “The river and the creeks will probably continue to rise.”
Some 13,000 people are in shelters, and the number is likely to rise. Over 20,000 have been rescued from their homes, but authorities were having particular trouble retrieving drivers stranded on a busy highway.
The weather catastrophe knocked out electricity, and limited cell phone service. AT&T has since placed almost a dozen temporary cell phone towers in Baton Rouge, reports Nola.com.
Baton Rouge took in 11 inches of rain in a 24-hour period, while Livingstone — which is roughy 30 miles away — was hit with 17 inches.
With flooded roads and continued rising waters, residents are being discouraged from driving or leaving their home if it’s safer to stay inside.
“Venturing out into the unknown only becomes problematic and then we have to do a search and rescue on you,” cautioned Louisiana State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson.
The floods are also uprooting the dead. Coffins were photographed floating down a street in Denham Springs, Louisiana.
President Obama signed a disaster declaration for the state on Sunday (Aug. 14) making federal funding available to affected areas.