Staying ahead of the mold, residents salvage what they can

WAFB's Justin Jaggers was reporting on the devastating floods that have killed 11 people and destroyed 40,000 homes in America's Louisiana when the boy appeared behind him.

About 68,000 people have signed up for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the number is expected to rise.

As much as 2 feet of rain has fallen in the past 48 hours in East Baton Rouge, Livingston and St. Helena parishes, reports.

Towns further downriver continue to face the threat of additional flooding.

Rescue workers are also searching cars that were inundated or carried away by flood waters, and Mr Edwards said each vehicle would be searched and marked.

Ann Chapman from the Louisiana State Animal Response Team is pictured here carrying a dog she helped rescue from flood waters in Baton Rouge.

"I fully expect that more parishes will be added to the declaration on a rolling basis", Edwards said.

In Livingston Parish, one of the hardest-hit areas with about 138,000 people, an official estimated that 75 percent of the homes were a "total loss". Thousands of hunters and fishermen from throughout the region arrived in boats and organized themselves into search-and-rescue parties.

"A lot of people- the water's up to their roof".

At least 11 people have died and 40,000 homes have been damaged as massive floods swept anew in some communities in the U.S. state of Louisiana.

Twenty parishes - similar to counties in other states - were declared disaster areas, freeing up federal money to aid with rescue operations and emergency housing, among other things.

Louisiana was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and authorities learned from that disaster that many people are reluctant to leave their homes without their pets, even when conditions are life-threatening.

Many residents whose homes were damaged by the floods were not covered by national flood insurance, said Rafael Lemaitre, a FEMA public information officer.

Exxon Mobil curbed operations at the fourth-largest US refinery in the record flooding in Louisiana shut roadways, sent tens of thousands fleeing from their homes and threatened the state's oil infrastructure.

"I want to blame somebody because of all the hurt that's going on, but I don't know if anybody knew" how bad the flooding would be, she said.

Through Tuesday, Baton Rouge had received 22.11 inches of rain since the start of August, more than 19 inches above normal, according to the National Weather Service.

"We'll stay in church fellowship halls or gymnasiums, and sleep on five-star cots or air mattresses they take with them", he said.

The Louisiana governor's office confirmed to AFP late Tuesday that 11 people had died in the flooding.

The federal disaster declaration triggers assistance for those whose homes and businesses have been damaged or displaced.

Rivers and creeks were still dangerously bloated south of Baton Rouge as water drained toward the Gulf of Mexico.

Reports of looting prompted a curfew in Baton Rouge.

Jared Serigne of St. Bernard Parish said he helped organize volunteer efforts involving roughly 70 experienced boaters who helped hundreds of people from flooded communities.

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