Death toll rises to 13 in historic flood

WBRZ's Michael Cauble talks to Gov. John Bel Edwards about ongoing flooding in Louisiana.

BATON ROUGE -- Thirteen deaths have been confirmed as a result of storms and flooding in south Louisiana.

Two people were found Wednesday.

The latest, according to WBRZ, is an elderly woman in Livingston Parish. Parish officials confirmed her death.

A man's body was found Wednesday on Whitehall Avenue in Denham Springs. Officials said they found a man in his 50's in the South Point subdivision off of Walker South. They added the man had no obvious signs of trauma, and the area he was found in had five-feet f water in it at one point.

Of the other deaths, five people have died in East Baton Rouge Parish, three in Tangipahoa Parish, two in St. Helena Parish, two in Livingston Parish and one in Rapides Parish from the storms and their aftermath.

The White House says Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson will visit Louisiana on Thursday to review the federal government's response to the widespread flooding that has damaged tens of thousands of businesses and houses.

Spokeswoman Jennifer Friedman says President Barack Obama also spoke with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate on Wednesday morning to get an update after Fugate's visit to the state. She says Obama directed Fugate to use all available resources to assist in the response and recovery, and to regularly update him.

Obama received the briefing while in Martha's Vineyard, a Massachusetts island. Residents in 20 parishes are eligible for disaster assistance as a result of a federal disaster declaration. Friedman says more than 70,000 people have registered for individual assistance and more than 9,000 have filed flood insurance claims.

The number of Louisiana residents staying in shelters is falling as floodwater drains from the worst-hit parishes in the state. State officials say 6,000 people remained in shelters Wednesday, down from more than 11,000 earlier in the week.

It wasn't immediately clear why the number has dropped: whether some who evacuated as a precaution didn't get flooded or if others moved in with family and friends or returned to stay in damaged houses.

 

© 2017 Associated Press


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