Over 40,000 homes hit by flooding, 20,000 people rescued

BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said Tuesday over 40,000 homes are affected by flooding from heavy rains last Friday and Saturday.

Over 20,000 people have been rescued with more than 8,000 in shelters. But Edwards cautioned that number is fluid as people arrive at and leave the shelters regularly.

Edwards said during a news conference that the state is entering a recovery phase but is still continuing search and rescue missions in other places

At least eight people have died in the floods, which started Friday when torrential rains dumped about two feet of rain on the state.

Addressing concerns of reports of looting, Edwards said every parish with flooding damage will have some type curfew by Tuesday night

Eight additional parishes were added to the federal disaster declaration. State and federal officials have been traveling the state for three days gathering data and he is confident more will be added.

Edwards spoke after meeting with FEMA administrator Craig Fugate. The head of FEMA says the agency understands that the state is suffering through a "very large disaster" even though it might not be getting a lot of attention in the news.

The state's budget woes will not be a factor in providing disaster assistance, Edwards said. FEMA will pay 75 cents of every dollar of aid needed for disaster recovery. If necessary, FEMA will directly pay for relief efforts and bill the state at a later date.

Louisiana residents are urged to register for disaster assistance, even if they're parishes are not yet included in the disaster declaration.

Edwards said over 40,000 have already registered at www.disasterassistance.gov.

Edwards asked residents to be patient with relief efforts.

"Nobody has been forgotten," Edwards said. "This is a difficult situation to get the response out we want."

Edwards said because the historic flooding was not caused by a named storm, the damage is underestimated by many.

Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser said residents without flood insurance who are affected by the flooding, can visit volunteerlouisiana.gov for details on how to receive assistance.

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