Flooding in U.S. South forces evacuations, rescues

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 10, 2016 10:41 AM

(Reuters) - Forecasters warned on Thursday of more flooding in parts of Texas and Louisiana, where heavy rains this week have inundated homes, submerged cars and prompted evacuations and rescues by boats and military vehicles.

A 75-year-old man drowned near Lucky, Louisiana, after attempting to drive through a flooded highway on Wednesday afternoon, according to local media. Police said Louisiana National Guard soldiers and law enforcement had rescued others stranded in their homes and on roads by high waters.

Dozens of schools and many roads were closed on Thursday after more than a foot of rain fell in some places.

Northern Louisiana, northeast Texas and southern Arkansas have been the hardest hit, with Monroe, Louisiana seeing its wettest two-day period on record, the Weather Channel said.

The flooding will persist in northwestern Louisiana until early Saturday, when the rain is expected to move out of the area, said National Weather Service meteorologist Travis Washington in Shreveport.

Officials in the Texas counties of Harrison and Marion, which are west of Shreveport, issued evacuation orders due to flooding rains.

Harrison County Judge Hugh Taylor predicted "major flooding" along Caddo Lake and urged residents to leave as waters were forecast to continue to rise through Sunday.

"We expect some areas to get 15 inches plus of rain," National Weather Service forecaster Bob Oravec said. "It looks like a pretty bad situation."

Standing water on a road northwest of San Antonio, Texas, caused a school bus to lose control and flip on its side on Wednesday, the Bexar County Sheriff's Office said. Two adults were treated for injuries, but the two special-needs students on the bus were not hurt.

A 30-year-old man drowned on Tuesday as he tried to drive across a flooded area in southeastern Oklahoma, according to the National Weather Service.

(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins in Winston-Salem, N.C. and Jim Forsyth in San Antonio; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)