Update from North Shore Bureau Chief Ashley Rodrigue: State Police say they are starting to get people off of I-12! Those evacuees will be taken to the shelter at the Hammond Recreation Center on East Coleman for anyone that needs to pick up relatives.
601 W Coleman Ave, Hammond, LA 70403
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Louisiana National Guard troops are preparing to drop water and other supplies from helicopters Sunday morning to more than 1,500 motorists who have been stranded on Interstate 12 for almost 24 hours.
Gov. John Bel Edwards' spokesman Richard Carbo said high water vehicles attempted to reach the stretch of interstate leading to Covington on Saturday, but the water was too deep to reach the motorists. Boats can't reach them, either, because there are pockets of dry land, creating islands.
Dominique Dugas of Lafayette and her family are among those stranded.
"There are cars and trucks as far as the eye can see," Dugas said in a phone interview with USA Today Network of Louisiana. She and her family were on their way to a funeral in Slidell when they became stranded at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. "We've seen helicopters flying over but we've had no communication or contact with any rescue people."
Dugas said her family and others, who are stranded near Albany, walked about three miles to a convenience store for supplies, but those shelves were emptied by Saturday evening.
"We're among the lucky ones," Dugas said. "There is a mother who is nursing and some older people who are really struggling."
Dugas said a driver of an 18-wheeler carrying produce opened his truck and made fruit available to all. "There are a lot of good Samaritans out here," she said.
Louisiana State Police are playing a major role in the rescue efforts as well.
"The break in the weather in the Baton Rouge area has allowed the Louisiana State Police Air Support Unit to deploy to I-12 to continue support efforts for those stranded," according to a statement from LSP released at 9:05 a.m. "Hundreds of cars are stranded on 'islands' along I-12 in eastern Livingston Parish ... Rescues were made into the night with Louisiana National Guard's high water vehicles until the rising water prevented additional access. Boats were unable to reach the stranded motorist due to the sporadic areas of dry land between the 'islands.'"
Five Louisiana State Troopers have been on the ground with the stranded motorists to communicate their needs with the Emergency Operation Center, according to LSP.
Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1