Thousands of Homes Damaged in Louisiana, Mississippi Floods
By: Erin Johnson, Xiro Xone News March 14, 2016
Most of Louisiana and Mississippi has been damaged due to widespread flooding and the risk of more flooding Sunday as rain-filled rivers rose over banks.
There have been at least four deaths reported in Louisiana, including that of an elderly man, authorities said. Two fishermen have been missing for days in Mississippi.
Flood warnings were in effect across the region as many rivers remained dangerously high.
There was also concern of another line of thunderstorms that was expected to hit parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas, northern Louisiana and northern Mississippi Sunday night.
Emergency officials In Louisiana, said more than 4,958 homes were damaged. That number is expected to rise as more reports come in from areas still battling floodwaters. Mississippi reported that 185 homes were damaged by floodwaters and about 650 homes sustained minor damage.
On Sunday, President Barack Obama signed an order declaring the flooding in Louisiana a major disaster. The president's declaration triggers federal aid for flood victims.
Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser said he was worried that many flood victims had not purchased flood insurance.
"A lot of these people I spoke to did not have flood insurance because they had never flooded before," Nungesser said in a telephone interview.
He warned that residents may not get federal disaster aid if they didn't have insurance. "It's not going to be the open check book," he added.
The storm system affecting Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Alabama have submerged roads and cars, washed out bridges and forced residents to flee homes.
Authorities in Louisiana's Natchitoches Parish said Harold Worsham, 78, drowned while trying to flee floodwaters on Saline Bayou. The sheriff's office said Worsham was in a boat that capsized as he and two others were moving items from a home onto an aluminum boat.
The National Guard said it had about 1,400 soldiers and air crews at work in flooded areas throughout Louisiana. By Sunday morning, National Guard crews had evacuated more than 2,415 people.