(BATON ROUGE, La.) — An elderly man has died after he was swept away in high waters amid severe flooding in the East Baton Rouge Parish in Louisiana, according to an East Baton Rouge Fire Department spokesman.
The flash flooding has led Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards to declare a state of emergency.
In Tangipahoa Parish, which is east of Baton Rouge and north of New Orleans, 140 people were rescued from high waters, said Robby Miller, president of Tangipahoa Parish.
He said he has never seen flood water rise so quickly in the area before.
Eighty roads in the parish are closed.
Rain fell at 2 to 3 inches per hour in southwest Mississippi and north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Friday morning, the National Weather Service said.
In some areas, between 8 and 12 inches of rain fell overnight.
The flooding closed many schools in the Baton Rouge area, including Louisiana State University.
Officials are also calling for people to stay off the roads.
“There’s some problems along just about every major interstate corridor, kind of in the southeast and central Louisiana area,” Mike Steele of the Louisiana governor’s office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness said. “This is very similar to what you see with a tropical event, maybe a smaller tropical storm. The good news is there’s not a lot of wind activity. It’s mainly just band after band of rain coming through right now.”
In Pike County in southwest Mississippi, heavy rain began around 5 a.m., and as creeks and rivers started to overflow, teams began working to rescue people trapped in flooded homes and cars, said McComb Fire Chief Stephen Adams. He said about six people had been rescued from their homes as of Friday morning.
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