Louisiana, Mississippi: Thousands Of Homes Damaged In Floods

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NEW ORLEANS — Widespread flooding in Louisiana and Mississippi has damaged thousands of homes and the risk of more flooding played out Sunday as rain-filled rivers rose over banks.

In Louisiana, emergency officials said more than 4,958 homes were damaged. That number is expected to rise as more reports come in from areas still battling floodwaters. Mississippi reported that 185 homes were damaged by floodwaters and about 650 homes sustained minor damage.

Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser said he was worried that many flood victims had not purchased flood insurance.

"A lot of these people I spoke to did not have flood insurance because they had never flooded before," Nungesser said in a telephone interview.

He warned that residents may not get federal disaster aid if they didn't have insurance. "It's not going to be the open check book," he added.

Downpours — part of a system affecting Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Alabama — have submerged roads and cars, washed out bridges and forced residents to flee homes.

At least three people have died in Louisiana, authorities said. On Sunday, Mississippi officials said they were still looking for two missing fishermen, but had no reports of injuries or deaths there.

Flooding on rain-swollen rivers remained a major concern in parts of Louisiana and Mississippi. And more bad weather was in the forecast Sunday night for northwest Louisiana and northern Mississippi.

It's the most widespread non-hurricane flooding the Louisiana National Guard has ever dealt with, said Col. Pete Schneider, a guard spokesman.

The National Guard said it had about 1,400 soldiers and air crews at work in flooded areas throughout Louisiana. By Sunday morning, National Guard crews had evacuated more than 2,415 people and 197 pets.

By EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS - Mar. 13, 2016 4:30 PM EDT AP

 
 

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