The governor has declared a state of emergency for 22 parishes as an enormous storm is terrorizing north Louisiana. Alto Representative Ralph Abraham says lives and livelihoods are at stake. He says he has seen over a hundred homes flooded and one person has lost their life so far. He says they are getting an unbelievable amount of rain.
“We’ve had over 16 and a half inches here in the last 36 to 40 hours. So it is very much a disaster,” Abraham said.
Abraham says he has talked with FEMA and asked that the region be declared a federal disaster area so resources and funding can come this way. He says everyone in north Louisiana is pitching in to help.
“I’ve been putting out sandbags and pulling people out of ditches, just in my neck of the woods literally,” Abraham said.
DeSoto Sheriff Rodney Arbuckle says several emergency shelters have been set up throughout the parish as evacuations are ongoing. He says countless homes in the parish have flooded.
“The problem is we’re looking at the water could continue to rise and we fear that there is going to be additional homes that are going to take on water,” Arbuckle said.
Arbuckle says the Sabine River in DeSoto is rising to a dangerously high level, and people near the river are being evacuated.
“Sabine River is supposed to crest around the 40 foot mark, and I can tell you, I’ve never seen it that high,” Arbuckle said.
Arbuckle says the last time the river was that high was in the 1940s. Jason Hansford, with the National Weather Service, says rainfall totals in Louisiana range from 11 to over 20 inches. He says we could see a break in the rain soon.
“We should have a lull in the rain for the remainder of the afternoon and overnight hours, but we have more rain on the way,” Hansford said.
Hansford says the state could see up to 5 more inches of rain, but he says this massive storm should clear out by this weekend.
“After about Saturday afternoon or evening, the rain should finally be ending from this system,” Hansford said.