LA. governor asks for volunteers as floodwaters rage, at least nine dead
Fourth Estate Staff
Baton Rogue, LA, United States (4E) – Louisiana’s governor, John Bel Edwards, asked for volunteers to help in the rescues and other activities related to the unprecedented flooding in the area, which has killed nine people.
The rainfall over the weekend rose to 20 inches in the Baton Rouge area and more than 20,000 residents have been rescued. A total of 1,000 pets were also rescued by responders.
Twelve thousand residents are now living in different shelters set up by the government but the numbers are fluctuating as many are coming and going. Homes and businesses that have no power due to the flooding have now reached 40,000 and four schools, plus the Louisiana State University, remain closed.
The flooding was not caused by a storm or a hurricane so Edwards regards it as historic and unprecedented. Edwards added, “We are going to need volunteers to get mud out of homes. Not everyone can do this on their own.” He asked those interested to help to visit the website VolunteerLouisiana.gov. There are 1,700 soldiers deployed by the Louisiana National Guard and are helping with the search and rescue efforts.
Edwards said that it is expected that almost half of the 64 parishes of Louisiana will be declared disaster areas. As of now, 12 parishes are under emergency declaration as per President Barack Obama’s grant.
The governor also warned about Zika virus. He said, “We’re going to have standing water all over south Louisiana. We’re going to have more than our share of mosquitoes. And with the Zika threat, we need assistance to spray for mosquitoes and for mosquito control and abatement. That is made available to us as a result of the declaration.”
Some residents have returned to their homes for the first time since the flooding started. One man, named David Key, whose house is in Prairieville , said that their home had five inches of muddy bayou water. There were fish and spiders inside the home. He shared, “I’m not going to lie, I cried uncontrollably. But you have to push forward and make it through. Like everybody says, you still have your family.”
As per the weather report, scattered showers and thunderstorms are still expected to continue this week.