The Latest: 60K sign up for disaster aid




BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Latest on flooding in the Deep South (all times local):

7 p.m.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards' office says more than 60,000 people have registered for disaster aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency after widespread flooding hit the state.

Torrential rains have caused massive flooding in parts of southern Louisiana, killing at least 11 people.

At least 40,000 homes have been damaged in some of the worst flooding in Louisiana history, touched off by as much as 2 feet of rain in 48 hours. Over 30,000 people have been rescued since Friday, with more being brought to safety by the hour.

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4:35 p.m.

Eleven deaths have been confirmed as a result of storms and flooding in south Louisiana.

Devin George, state registrar for vital records, said Tuesday the latest confirmed death occurred in Rapides Parish. He did not immediately provide details.

Of the other deaths, five were in East Baton Rouge Parish, three in Tangipahoa Parish and two were in St. Helena Parish.

Floodwaters were receding in many parts of south Louisiana on Tuesday, though they were continuing to rise in other areas as the water drained south.

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4:15 p.m.

Another eight parishes have been added to Louisiana's federal disaster declaration, boosting the number of parishes available for federal aid to 20.

Gov. John Bel Edwards' office made the announcement Tuesday and said additional parishes may join the list as further damage assessments are made.

More than 36,000 people from Louisiana have registered so far with FEMA, according to the governor's office. The governor had said at an earlier news conference that about 40,000 had signed up.

Torrential rains have caused widespread flooding in parts of southern Louisiana, killing at least 10 people.

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3:25 p.m.

A curfew is being put in place in Baton Rouge as authorities respond to reports of looting.

Multiple arrests were made Monday and authorities were fielding calls Tuesday about businesses being looted.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office says the curfew will be in effect from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

At least 40,000 homes have been damaged and 10 people killed in some of the worst flooding in Louisiana history, touched off by as much as 2 feet of rain in 48 hours. Over 30,000 people have been rescued since Friday, with more being brought to safety by the hour.

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2:45 p.m.

Even as waters level off or recede in hard-hit places such as Baton Rouge and nearby Denham Springs, swelling rivers and backwaters threaten other communities and low-lying areas in parts of south Louisiana.

The National Weather Service says the Amite River was falling Tuesday at Denham Springs, the site of major flooding after weekend rains. But it was cresting farther south.

Farther west, an emergency official in Acadia Parish says Cajun country towns including Crowley, Rayne and Church Point have flooded, with several hundred homes affected. The Mermentau (MUR'-mehn-taw) River, a source of the flooding in Acadia, isn't forecast to crest until Thursday.

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2:30 p.m.

Nearly a year after LSU gave the University of South Carolina football team a home field advantage as floodwaters ravaged Columbia, the Gamecocks are returning the help.

South Carolina on Tuesday says it's coordinating the collection of items to be sent to Baton Rouge, which is battling historic flooding.

The school says fans can drop off supplies this week at several locations in Columbia, including Williams-Brice Stadium. Items that are needed include diapers, baby formula, canned foods, towels and blankets.

During massive flooding in South Carolina in October, LSU hosted the Gamecocks in a football game originally scheduled for Columbia. Billboards around Baton Rouge were programmed to read "Geaux Gamecocks! Make yourself at home."

LSU donated net proceeds from the game to South Carolina.

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1:20 p.m.

Louisiana officials have increased the death toll to 10 from the unprecedented flooding in the southern part of the state.

Devin George, state registrar for vital records, said Tuesday the latest deaths are accidental drownings.

One was in Tangipahoa Parish. The body of a 49-year-old man was discovered in a wooded area near Kentwood. The other death occurred in East Baton Rouge Parish. A 58-year-old man was discovered in the woods near Millar Estates.

The floods began during torrential rains Friday and many homes and businesses are still underwater. The governor says at least 40,000 homes have water damage.

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12:10 p.m.

Authorities in hard-hit Tangipahoa Parish are starting to assess the damage after widespread flooding hit the southeastern Louisiana region.

Parish President Robby Miller says they are still doing damage assessments, but he estimates that they will have at least 7,500 homes with flood damage — meaning they took on water anywhere from an inch to up to the roof.

The region was also just recovering from heavy flooding back in March, and Miller says some people who just finished rebuilding their homes took on more water during this flood.

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St. James Parish authorities are asking for volunteers to fill sandbags at seven locations around the parish.

While some parts of Louisiana are starting to enter a recovery mode, others downstream are preparing for more flooding.

St. James Parish authorities say in an update on the sheriff's office website that there were no evacuations or shelters as of Tuesday morning.

The message also says people who need sandbags are encouraged to bring their own shovels and bag their own sand.

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11:20 a.m.

Louisiana's governor says at least 40,000 homes were damaged by the historic floods in the southern part of the state.

Gov. John Bel Edwards said during a news conference Tuesday that parts of the state are entering a recovery phase while search and rescue missions happen in other places. He initially said well over 20,000 people have been rescued, but after the news conference, his office said more than 30,000 people had been rescued.

More than 8,000 are staying in shelters, but that number is fluctuating as people arrive and leave the shelters.

Edwards spoke after a meeting with FEMA administrator Craig Fugate. The head of FEMA says the agency understands that the state is suffering through a "very large disaster" even though it might not be getting a lot of attention in the news.

At least eight people have died in the floods, which started Friday when a torrent of about 2 feet of rain inundated the state.

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9:50 a.m.

Eight deaths are now attributed to the storms and flooding in south Louisiana.

Devin George, state registrar for vital records, said Tuesday the latest confirmed death occurred in East Baton Rouge Parish. A 66-year-old man's body was found in the Sherwood Forest area.

George described it as an "accidental drowning" related to the storm.

Of the eight deaths, two were in Tangipahoa Parish, two were in St. Helena Parish and the other four were in East Baton Rouge Parish.

Floodwaters were receding in many parts of south Louisiana on Tuesday, though they were continuing to rise in other areas as the water drained south.

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Residents in areas where floodwaters are receding are going back to see what is left of their homes and it's a devastating picture.

David Key saw his house in Prairieville for the first time Tuesday morning.

He said the house took on 5 inches of "muddy nasty bayou water." There were fish and thousands of spiders. And mold has started to set in.

Key says when he saw the damage he "cried uncontrollably."

Key and his wife spent most of the weekend putting as much of the contents of their house into the second floor and setting furniture up on concrete blocks.

Now he has to rip out the drywall and insulation and de-humidify the house as fast as he can so the mold won't spread.

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9:30 a.m.

Another eight parishes have been added to Louisiana's federal disaster declaration, boosting the number of parishes available for federal aid to 12.

Gov. John Bel Edwards' office said Tuesday that Acadia, Ascension, East Feliciana, Iberia, Lafayette, Pointe Coupee, St. Landry and Vermillion parishes were approved for federal assistance. Those parishes are mostly in south central Louisiana.

Parishes named in the federal disaster declaration were East Baton Rouge, Livingston, St. Helena and Tangipahoa parishes.

People can seek federal disaster aid by signing up at www.disasterassistance.gov. More than 36,000 people from Louisiana have registered so far with FEMA, according to the governor's office.

Additional parishes may join the list as further damage assessments are made.

Torrential rains have caused widespread flooding in parts of southern Louisiana.

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9:15 a.m.

As water starts to move out of heavily-flooded Livingston Parish in southern Louisiana, authorities assessing the damage believe three-quarters of the homes are destroyed.

Lori Steele, spokeswoman for the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office, says the sheriff estimates about 75 percent of the homes are "a total loss." The parish has a population of about 138,000 people.

More than 15,000 people have been rescued from floodwaters in the parish since the storms began Friday and more were still ongoing Monday even as the water was draining in some areas.

Steele remained upbeat, calling it a "good day" because the parish hasn't seen any storm-related deaths and the rescues are no longer people in their attics, but people who are running low on supplies in flooded areas.

Seven deaths have been attributed to the flooding in south Louisiana.

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Corrects that parish, not town has 138,000 people.

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7 a.m.

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry has activated its mobile pet shelter to the Baton Rouge River Center which is now sheltering evacuees.

Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain said in a news release Monday the mobile pet shelter can hold approximately 50 pets. It's a tractor trailer equipped with metal cages, generator, battery power and a cleaning station. It has an air ventilation system to provide proper air circulation and temperature for the pets.

Strain says pets that arrived with patients at the LSU critical-needs shelter are being taken to Dixon Correctional Institute for safe sheltering.

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6 a.m.

The administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency is coming to Louisiana to meeting with state officials on the ongoing flooding there.

Craig Fugate will meet with Gov. John Bel Edwards on Tuesday to discuss the situation.

The governor's office says Fugate will travel to Louisiana to meet with the state's Unified Command Group to discuss the federal assistance available and response efforts.

The federal government declared a major disaster in the state, specifically in the parishes of Tangipahoa, St. Helena, East Baton Rouge and Livingston. State officials say disaster declarations for other parishes affected by flooding could come this week.

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2:45 a.m.

Some residents of Louisiana's capital city have begun struggling to return to flood-damaged homes on foot, in cars and by boat as waters recede in some areas.

But though the rain had mostly stopped, new places in the state are facing flood dangers from the deluge that has sent thousands into shelters.

Rivers and creeks are still dangerously bloated south of Baton Rouge. People have filled sandbags to protect their houses, bracing for the worst as high water flows toward the Gulf of Mexico. In one area, Ascension Parish, officials say some small towns have already been inundated.

Several deaths have been reported, including a body pulled late Monday from Baton Rouge floodwaters. The disaster has prompted thousands of rescues and many found refuge in hastily prepared shelters.
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