BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Latest on Louisiana flooding (all times local):
Volunteers inside and outside of Louisiana's flood disaster zone are helping shelter and care for dogs, cats and other animals rescued from the water.
Some animals were already in shelters when the floods hit. Others were left behind in hasty evacuations.
Veterinarians and volunteers were caring for roughly 150 pets Friday at two Livingston Parish shelters, one in Livingston and another in nearby Walker. They have so far brought about 50 often emotional reunions of pets and families. LSU's vet school and the Louisiana State Animal Response Team are caring for pets at two Baton Rouge sites — and various livestock as well as pets at a Gonzales shelter.
In New Orleans a nonprofit is helping find foster homes for animals rescued from shelters, while aiding efforts to reunite pets with owners.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved more than $35 million in federal disaster loans for Louisiana businesses and residents hit by severe flooding this month.
District Director Michael Ricks, in a news release Friday, said the SBA has approved 20 business disaster loans for $1.3 million and 456 loans for homeowners and renters totaling $34.8 million to help recover in Acadia, Ascension, Avoyelles, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Vermilion, Washington and West Feliciana parishes.
Businesses and residents who sustained damages are encouraged to register prior to the Oct. 13 deadline with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. They can apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via SBA's website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela .
Businesses and private, nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners.
Despite the temporary closure of all East Baton Rouge Parish schools, Woodlawn High School is forging ahead with its annual robotics competition, and this year's event will double as a mission to help families affected by recent flooding in Louisiana.
The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/2bE6rYL) visiting teams are bringing backpacks filled with not just robots but also school supplies, toiletries, and toys to the gym of the Baton Rouge high school.
The teams competing in Saturday's fourth annual Dow Red Stick Rumble are coming from Boutte (boo-TAY'), Duson (DOO'-sahn), Hammond, Lafayette, New Orleans, Port Allen and Slidell, all in Louisiana, as well as Texas and Mississippi.
The school's gym will become a medieval battleground in which robots will scale defenses and capture their opponent's castle. The teams had six weeks to create their robots.
East Baton Rouge Parish schools plan to resume classes Sept. 6.
A multi-agency warehouse has opened in Baton Rouge to assist in bringing in much needed donations and supplies to support the recovery efforts across the state.
Mike Steele, a spokesman for the Governor's Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, says the warehouse is being operated as a partnership with the state and the Louisiana Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster. Steele says Adventist Community Services, a national and state VOAD partner, is managing the warehouse operations, supported by an AmeriCorps team.
He says the warehouse will allow a centralized intake point for donations from local community members as well as businesses across the country. Donations will then be distributed to support the efforts of nonprofits, shelters, and parishes as they respond to the needs in their communities.
Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa has canceled the annual balloon festival planned for Lamar-Dixon Expo Center next month citing the impact historic flooding has had on participants in the event.
He said the parish is committed to using the center for long-term disaster recovery.
The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/2buigND) Matassa told the Parish Council on Thursday night that more than half of the festival participants have been affected by the floods in Ascension and the rest of the Baton Rouge region.
The 2016 Ascension Hot Air Balloon Festival had been scheduled for Sept. 23 and 24 at the center off Louisiana Highway 30 and Interstate 10.
While the 247-acre center has served as a festival grounds, it also plays an important role in disaster recovery both locally and statewide. Parish officials said the center is housing 230 flood evacuees and about 800 stranded pets.
Ascension Parish government has significantly reduced its estimate of house flooding, one day after parish officials announced flooding had affected 30,000 to 40,000 homes.
Officials said Thursday revised numbers suggest 16,000 to 19,000 structures were affected to some extent, similar to earlier numbers released about the flooding after historic storms battered the Baton Rouge region.
In an email received by The Advocate (http://bit.ly/2c1gjLk), parish officials said they were revising their previous statement and the 30,000-to-40,000 homes figure represented only "potential" flooding impact, contradicting statements on Wednesday that in fact those homes were flooded to some extent.
Mike Steele, spokesman for the Governor's Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, said state officials believe the total statewide figure is sure to exceed 100,000 homes.