The Latest: Baton Rouge area gets rain amid flood recovery

AP News
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Posted: Aug 21, 2016 5:21 PM
The Latest: Baton Rouge area gets rain amid flood recovery

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Latest on Louisiana flooding (all times local):

4:08 p.m.

Parts of the Baton Rouge were getting thunderstorms with heavy rain as people continued cleaning out homes to recover from recent flooding.

The National Weather Service says 2 to 3 inches of rain fell Sunday, and the area was under a flash flood warning until late afternoon.

Among the areas that could experience flash flooding were Baton Rouge, Zachary, Baker and Port Allen.

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2:10 p.m.

Louisiana officials are setting up a temporary bus system to help people in and around Baton Rouge whose vehicles were damaged by flooding.

Mike Steele, spokesman for the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, says Sunday that two disaster recovery centers also have opened in areas that flooded in south Louisiana. He says more will open as buildings are found with enough parking and proper access for people with disabilities.

Steele says more than $30 million in federal housing assistance has been approved for residents in the state. About 3,200 people remain in shelters.

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12:50 p.m.

When a south Louisiana group home for young offenders called for flood evacuation help, churches in Shreveport and local volunteers made them welcome.

Caddo Juvenile Service Administrator Ted Cox says a church offered its gym as a shelter, the Red Cross provided 50 cots and bags of toiletries, and volunteers bought other supplies. He tells The Times of Shreveport (http://bit.ly/2bm5ylO ) that one woman even bought chocolates and put one on every pillow.

AMIKids Acadiana director Isaac Williams says the group home is outside Lafayette. Williams says its usual backup shelter is in Baton Rouge, and flooded. The 35 youths were in Shreveport from last Sunday until Wednesday.

Williams says church members did more than offer shelter. They showed the young people that someone in the wider world cares about them.

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11:45 a.m.

High water in Louisiana and Arkansas has put a damper on the nation's rice harvest.

While much of Louisiana's crop was in before record floods this month, Arkansas farmers had just started harvesting before rainy weather began last weekend.

So far, the biggest losers are farmers whose fields are inundated and may not be able to harvest. Those who do succeed will find slightly higher prices. But economists say that the weather isn't bad enough to push up consumer prices for food rice, or for beer and cereal that use rice as an ingredient.

Arkansas produces half the nation's rice, while Louisiana produces about 15 percent. Farmers fear that continued bad weather, or a Gulf Coast hurricane, could worsen problems before the rest of the crop is brought in.

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9:30 a.m.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards says people around the U.S. are just starting to pay attention to the extent of flooding that killed at least 13 people in the state.

Edwards tells CNN's "State of the Nation" on Sunday that the disaster has received less attention because it wasn't a hurricane or named storm.

Edwards, a Democrat who took office this year, says he suggested to President Barack Obama and presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett that they delay a trip to Louisiana until the initial disaster response was over and recovery efforts had started.

Obama is traveling to Baton Rouge on Tuesday.

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1:33 a.m.

With up to $150,000 in flood damages to his southeast Louisiana car repair shop and no flood insurance, Lap Nguyen (NWEN) wasn't sure how he was going to repair his life.

He's spent the past few days cleaning out Gonzales Car Care 20 miles southeast of Louisiana's capital, and hadn't thought about money.

Like thousands of other south Louisiana residents, he had to deal with the malodorous muck left after torrential downpours swamped drainage systems, including rivers and streams.

The floods killed at least 13 people but are slowly falling, giving way to the hard slog of cleaning out, rebuilding, or just finding somewhere to live.

The state government says an estimated 60,000 homes have been damaged and 102,000 people have registered for federal help.