BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - On a mobile device? Click here for more coverage
Gov. John Bel Edwards held a press conference Thursday afternoon to announce that over 30,000 people and 1,400 pets have been rescued thus far from flood waters. Sadly, he confirmed that thirteen people have perished.
The recovery process is slowly beginning in some parts of south Louisiana after historic flooding in many areas. Water is receding very slowly after 25" of rain in 48 hours caused record flooding that damaged more than 40,000 homes across south Louisiana.
"This disaster is the worst to hit the United States since Superstorm Sandy and we anticipate it will cost at least $30 million, a number which may grow as we learn more about the scope and magnitude of the devastation," said Brad Kieserman, vice president, Disaster Services Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross. "Please consider making a financial donation to the Red Cross today to support the people of Louisiana."
Reports estimate the state was hit by 6.9 trillion gallons of rain, which is enough to fill 10.4 million Olympic pools.
FEMA representatives have arrived to start assisting homeowners with filing claims for recovery after the floods. The Walker Police Department reported FEMA reps will be at Walker City Hall at noon to assist property owners with FEMA claims.
The water has receded in part of East Baton Rouge Parish and people have started cleaning up. Mayor-President Kip Holden said people will see a lot of trucks for debris pickup moving around the area Monday. He asked people to try not to park on the streets so trucks can maneuver around without too much trouble. He also urged people to stay out of flooded neighborhoods. He added East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux makes the decision on curfews in the parish.
People in sections of Livingston Parish have not even been able to get close enough to their neighborhoods to see their homes. Water still covers Walker South Road north of Port Vincent and homes near there remain flooded. People living a little north of the area have been able to make it home to start assessing the damage and cleaning out the mess.
Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks said the water in Maurepas, Port Vincent and French Settlement looks to be receding but still covers some roadways. Ricks said now that the water has gone down in some parts, many people want to go into the neighborhoods to see their homes. He warned that there are still many dangers and they could create problems for first responders.
West Feliciana Parish is beginning the process of getting back to normal. School employees returned to work Thursday and some students get back to class Friday. Debris removal contractors are assessing damage and will begin to pick it up Monday. Full Updates from WFP
Thousands of people were rescued after floodwaters rose on roads and into homes across the area. One particular dramatic rescue was caught on camera.
Lt. Will Roberts with Wildlife and Fisheries said his agency alone has made more than 3,000 animal rescues. Firefighters and other first responders also helped to rescue countless animals. One of those animals saved from the floods was a fawn that is now being nursed back to health by one of the firefighters who saved it.