Sunday, August 14, 2016

La. and Miss. struggle with "historic" floods

These states elect Republicans to Congress who try to block action on climate disruption, which is causing an increase in extreme precipitation events.

Emergency crews worked through the night to rescue scores of south Louisiana residents from homes and stranded cars as deadly flooding continued to inundate large swaths of the region Sunday, three days after rain-swollen water levels began rapidly rising.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards -- who like his Mississippi counterpart declared a state of emergency over the rising waters -- called the floods "unprecedented" and "historic." He and his family were even forced to leave the Governor's Mansion when chest-high water filled the basement and electricity was shut off.

Edwards said cellphone service outages are affecting rescuers' ability to communicate with residents asking for help - and with each other, adding that it "does present a problem."

The governor said an AT&T switching facility in the area had been knocked out by floodwaters. In a statement the company says they are working to restore affected wireless service as quickly as possible. AT&T says they have technicians and resources ready and as soon as it's safe in affected areas, they will get to work. The company is recommending customers text before calling and use wi-fi where it's available.


Cobb said some of the people stranded were actually fleeing flooding in their homes when they got caught on the freeway. Nearby her were a pregnant woman and an 80-year-old woman.


Louisiana Nation Guard alone had rescued more than 3,000 people as of midnight, and that number was bound to rise Sunday, Steele said.


Beginning Friday, 6 to 10 inches of rain fell on parts of Louisiana and several more inches of rain fell on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service. Some areas got even more rain. In a 24-hour period, Baton Rouge had as much as 11 inches while one weather observer reported more than 17 inches in Livingston.

Forecasters expected a turn to the north Sunday by the system, warning portions of central and northern Louisiana could see heavy rain into next week.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant declared a state of emergency for several counties in his state as it also battled the heavy rainfall.


tags: severe weather, extreme weather

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