Louisiana governor declares local emergency after floods

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 13, 2012 7:13 PM
Louisiana governor declares local emergency after floods

By Kathy Finn

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in four parishes in the Southern part of the state after a deluge of rain prompted flash flooding.

Emergency responders spent much of Monday and early Tuesday rescuing residents from high water in and around Carencro, in south-central Louisiana, which was hit by the flooding.

More than 14 inches of rain drenched the area as it moved eastward across southern Louisiana, according to the National Weather Service in Lake Charles.

No deaths or injuries were reported, according to the Carencro Police Department. Assistant Chief Dondi Harden said police spent Monday afternoon and evening helping people get out of their flooded homes.

About 16 students had to be rescued from a school bus after the engine apparently flooded out in rising water Monday morning, and all were immediately taken to safety.

Meteorologist Donald Jones said radar tracking indicated as much as 17 inches of rain may have fallen in some areas, though official gauges in the region showed an average of about 13 inches.

The rain diminished as the system moved eastward, and the heavy rain "was a fairly localized event," Jones said, with the city of Lafayette, less than 20 miles to the south, receiving less than three inches of rain.

He said that area rivers remained high Tuesday due to the heavy rain. "That's causing some flooding along the rivers as well as downstream," he said.

(Editing by Greg McCune)