Emergency crews have rescued more than 7,000 people stranded in Louisiana by historic flooding that has killed at least three people and submerged whole communities, Governor John Bel Edwards said on Sunday, as the U.S. Gulf Coast braced for more rain and rising waters.
Stranded residents have been pulled out of flooded homes and swamped cars in cities and towns across the southern part of the state, said Edwards, who has called for federal emergency relief funds.
While the brunt of the storm that brought torrential rains and flooding to the area was moving west toward Texas on Sunday, Louisiana residents should remain cautious, the governor said at a news conference.
“Even with the sunshine out today intermittently, the waters are going to continue to rise in many areas, so this is no time to let the guard down,” Edwards said.
Some 5,000 people were forced to sleep in shelters overnight, state officials said. There were not enough beds to house all of the shelter-seekers, so many had to sleep on floors.
Emergency officials were still working on strategies to rescue an undetermined number of other people trapped by the waters, Edwards said.
Meanwhile, downpours threatened to trigger floods further west into Texas.
The National Weather Service (NWS) on Sunday maintained a flash flood watch for parts of Louisiana and Mississippi and extended it to southeastern Texas, including the city of Houston, where rains left at least eight dead in late April.
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SOURCE: Newsweek, Reuters