Most people in Livingston Parish lost everything, sheriff says
BATON ROUGE - Rescue efforts stretched into their fourth day on Monday as a new week began along with the first glimmerings of recovery in an area decimated by floods over the weekend.
More than 15,000 people were rescued in Livingston Parish alone since Friday with those efforts remaining in effect into the evening hours of Monday. Water is dropping fast in Denham Springs, but people remain stranded. There are six shelters operating in the parish. Officials noted on Sunday that as many as 35,000 homes in Livingston encountered flood water during the historic event.
Thousands of homes in the area have received anywhere from less than a foot of water to floods that top rooftops. Roads have been washed out or still remain impassable due to high-water. Officials say about 90 percent of the homes in the Denham Springs have taken on water during the catastrophic flood. The Mayor of Denham Springs estimated that only around seven businesses in the city opened for business on Sunday.
During an evening interview with LPSO Sheriff Jason Ard, he said that instances of looting briefly occurred on Monday, but he said it has been dealt with. The sheriff also noted that as much as 75 percent of the parish has "lost everything." 30 to 45 percent of sheriff's deputies in the parish have also lost their homes, according to Ard, but he said most if not all of them are still working.
In Ascension Parish, parish officials confirmed that flood protection systems along the Amite River could no longer meet the demands thrust upon them by the flood, and now as many as a third of all homes in the parish are flooded. Voluntary evacuations were added in Sorrento to already existing evacuations along Bayou Manchac and Amite.
10,000 people stayed shelters on Sunday night and around half that number remained in 25 different shelters on Monday night. That number is expected to increase as search and rescue operations will continue into Tuesday.
The death toll related to the historic flood conditions rose to seven on Monday as another body was pulled from floodwaters in Baton Rouge. State officials have yet to officially tie that death to flooding.