Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Storm Dumps Rain over South, Sparks Flooding

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Storm Dumps Rain over South, Sparks Flooding

Article excerpt

BOSSIER CITY, La. - Cars were submerged by water, residents forced to flee their homes with housecats and birds in tow, and the Louisiana National Guard and others rescued people by boat and in big military trucks as torrential rains Wednesday drenched parts of Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas with nearly a foot of rain. Two people drowned in Oklahoma and Texas, and the rain is expected to stay in the forecast for much of the week.

Up to 7 inches of rain was expected through Wednesday and up to a foot by the end of the weekend. Flash flood watches were issued for areas from Port O'Connor, Texas, to near Springfield, Illinois.

In northwestern Louisiana, up to 80 homes and a nursing home were evacuated. No injuries were reported.

Sharon Anderson, her three children and four grandchildren were rescued from her south Bossier Parish mobile home after rising water threatened to trap them. Several other families already had been trapped, and the water was still rising, she said.

"This morning it was touching the bottom of the houses, she said. "Now the steps on my back porch are under water and if you walk down the driveway, it's over the knee.

Anderson said they were pretty much surrounded by the water. The road into the area is flooded and another outlet that has a bridge is closed because of water.

"We're literally trapped, Anderson said. "You have to get a boat to get to our doors in this neighborhood.

Several Louisiana parishes have declared a state of emergency, and the National Guard was sent in to help.

Gov. John Bel Edwards issued the order after nearly a foot of rain fell Tuesday night and Wednesday. The governor's office says eight guardsmen and four high water vehicles will be used in Bossier Parish to assist where needed.

The Louisiana National Guard transported Anderson's family and others from the neighborhood in a huge military truck later Wednesday. She said they planned to stay with family and in a hotel until the water receded.

Bossier Parish Sheriff Julian Whittington said a mandatory evacuation is in place for several neighborhoods and subdivisions. …

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