The Latest: Body in submerged truck in St. Helena Parish

AP News
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Posted: Aug 12, 2016 10:07 PM
The Latest: Body in submerged truck in St. Helena Parish

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on flooding in the Deep South (all times local):

9 p.m.

Authorities have pulled a body from a submerged pickup on Louisiana Highway 10 in St. Helena Parish and they're searching the area for a possible second vehicle.

State Fire Marshal H. "Butch" Browning confirms crews found a man in his 50s inside a marooned Chevrolet pickup truck about 7 p.m. Friday.

He says the body was turned over to the parish coroner's office. His name has not been released, but Browning says he's believed to be from the area.

Meanwhile, crews are continuing to search for possibly another washed away vehicle after residents reported a missing person.

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4 p.m.

More than 50 people have been flooded out of a neighborhood in Crosby, Mississippi, and will be housed at a shelter in Natchez.

Wilkinson County Chancery Clerk Thomas Tolliver says an apartment complex and surrounding houses in the town were heavily flooded by deluging rains falling over southern Mississippi and southeast Louisiana.

Tolliver says a creek in the low-lying area of Crosby overflowed its banks after the region received 10 inches of rain overnight, running through houses and apartments. He says officials have been unable to reach some parts of the county and haven't completed a damage assessment, but says a number of bridges and culverts have been washed out.

Adams County Emergency Manager Brad Bradford says his county anticipates housing Crosby residents at least until Monday.

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3 p.m.

Authorities in Louisiana say a man's body has been recovered from floodwaters in East Baton Rouge Parish.

Sheriff's office spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks says the death occurred Friday.

She says a woman notified authorities that she was helping a man through the water when he slipped into a flooded ditch in front of a home near the city of Zachary.

Hicks says neighbors tried to save the man, but weren't able to. A body was recovered around noon. Hicks identified the victim as 68-year-old William Mayfield.

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1:55 p.m.

Amtrak is stopping a Chicago-to-New Orleans train in central Mississippi because of flooding on railroad tracks in the southern part of the state.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency says the train stopped Friday in Jackson, and Amtrak was planning to get passengers to New Orleans by bus. Water was covering the tracks in Osyka, Mississippi, a small community in Pike County at the Louisiana state line.

MEMA says two injuries were reported amid heavy rains in coastal Harrison County, but details were not immediately available.

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12:05 p.m.

Rescuers are still plucking people from floodwaters in southwest Mississippi.

Leroy Hansford, his wife and stepson were among those rescued earlier Friday near Gloster.

Hansford says waters from Beaver Creek that are normally more than 400 feet away from his house rose quickly overnight. The National Weather Service reported 10 inches of rain overnight in Gloster.

Hansford says he and other family members were rescued from the waist-high water by emergency workers in a large military-style truck.

Amite County Emergency Manager Grant McCurley said Friday that officials are trying to rescue people trapped by floodwaters in Crosby. He estimates 10 to 20 homes have been flooded in Amite County. Others have been flooded to the west in Wilkinson County.

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11:55 a.m.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency for the entire state as a result of heavy rain and widespread flooding.

Edwards said in a news release Friday state officials are in constant contact with local officials, and assistance is already on the move to affected parishes.

Mike Steele of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness says requests are coming for high-water vehicle, boats and sandbags.

Steele said Tangipahoa Parish alone has requested tens of thousands of sandbags.

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11:15 a.m.

Numerous rivers in southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi are spreading beyond of their banks, threatening widespread flooding after extreme rainfall.

The Comite River near Baton Rouge and Amite River near Denham Springs in Louisiana are predicted to set record crests over the weekend. National Weather Service forecaster Alek Krautmann says both could flood many houses in suburban areas near Baton Rouge. He also says that flooding downstream in Ascension Parish is a threat, as those swollen rivers will be slow to drain into Lake Maurepas.

The Tickfaw River, just south of the Mississippi state line in Liverpool, Louisiana, was already at the highest level ever recorded at 9 a.m. Friday.

Krautmann says flooding is "quickly becoming widespread" as heavy rains continue. Officials are considering evacuation orders. Krautmann says one observer near Livingston reported 13.75 inches of rain from midnight to Friday morning.

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10:30 a.m.

Flooding is also affecting areas of southwest Mississippi just north of the Louisiana state line.

Carlene Statham, the deputy director of the Pike County Emergency Management Agency, says waters began rising before dawn Friday in Osyka (oh-SY'-kuh), leading the county to send out rescue teams. She says one woman was rescued from a car, while three people were rescued from a house surrounded by water. Statham says a handful of houses in the Osyka area appear to have flooded.

Numerous roads are flooded and at least one county road has washed out. No one was injured.

The Amite County school district is dismissing class at 10 a.m. Superintendent Scotty Whittington says numerous roads are underwater or washed out.

The Mississippi Department of Transportation says some state highways are flooded in Amite, Pike and Wilkinson counties.

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10:15 a.m.

Heavy rain and flooding has caused Louisiana officials to closed state offices in 14 parishes.

Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne said offices in Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Lafayette, Livingston, St. Helena, St. James, St. Martin, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Washington and West Baton Rouge are closed Friday.

Dardenne said officials are monitoring weather conditions across the state.

Heavy rain is expected to continue Friday and begin tapering off early Saturday.

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9 a.m.

Louisiana authorities have rescued 72 people and seven pets out of neighborhoods after flooding in southeast Tangipahoa Parish.

Parish President Robby Miller says shelters have been open in the town of Amite and Hammond city for those who were rescued. Residents will be allowed to return home once the water starts to recede.

Heavy rain is also causing problems in southern Mississippi.

Officials in Pike County say roads are closed and water is nearing homes in the town of Osyka (oh-SY'-kuh), just north of the Louisiana-Mississippi state line.

Meteorologist Alek Krautmann at the weather service office in Slidell, Louisiana, said the Mississippi town of Gloster, in Amite County has received nearly 10 inches of rain since Thursday night.

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8:45 a.m.

Forecasters in Alabama say a flash flood watch is in effect Friday along the Alabama Gulf coast.

National Weather Service meteorologists say they expect an additional 2.2 inches of rain to fall on Friday in areas near Mobile, Alabama, with higher amounts possible in some areas.

On Friday morning, forecasters said the potential for heavier rainfall increases toward the Alabama coast.

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7 a.m.

Heavy rain and street flooding have prompted five school districts in southeast Louisiana to cancel classes.

St. James, Washington, Tangipahoa (tan-jih-puh-HOH') and St. Tammany parishes and the Bogalusa (bohg-uh-LOOS'-uh) City School District announced early Friday schools would be closed due to weather and flooding concerns.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development says high water has closed Interstate 55 southbound near Amite.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for Washington Tangipahoa, Livingston, West Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge and portions of St. Tammany, Pointe Coupee and Ascension parishes until 1 p.m. Friday.

The weather service said in a statement at an addition 3 to 5 inches could fall over the warned area.

All of southeast Louisiana remains under a flood watch until Saturday morning.