It seems that this state is historically condemned to face the issues with water. The people living in the southern half of this subtropical state are prone to any kind of water disaster be it from the rivers, skies or encroaching ocean. Still, it was not prepared for such a deluge.
As an aftermath of a catastrophic flooding inundating nearly one-third of the Louisiana parishes more than sixty thousand houses and businesses have been damaged. A flood stroke the state on August 13. The magnitude of the flooding was so high that the recent hazard was called as “historic and unprecedented flood ever.” There were 32 continuous hours of rainfall in Baton Rouge. No such terrific natural disaster has occurred since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. A total of 13 deaths were documented along with manages estimated abut $30 million. Furthermore, these figures are still rising with the increasing possibility that the flooding will exacerbate the state budget.
The flood was caused as a result of an abundant torrential rainfall. Two rivers the Amite and Comite along with many other smaller rivers and waterways reached record levels. Aimte river crested a record as it reached 46.2 feet, which is about five times higher than the record back I 1983. The rivers rose so quickly that people virtually had no time to take any caution or prepare. The previous heaviest rainfall that is comparable to recent instance happed in 1995. According to the data reported by CNN, over the weekend when the disaster occurred more than 20 000 people were rescued by the US Coast Guard and other first responders. People were helping to each other saving each other’s life. The videos were captured where a man pulled a woman and a dog after they were plunged underwater. The Coast Guard officials claim to have saved more than 118 people and have assisted to more than 766 people in Barton Rouge. Reportedly, Governor Edwards have further deployed Louisiana National Guard to mobilize about 1700 soldiers to assist in search and rescue efforts. All the possible and available measures are implemented to mitigate the residents’ severe situation. So far, about 158,000 meals have been served in Louisiana (the first week). Overall about 100.000 insured vehicles were badly damaged.
Because of the dreadful disaster, the schools in East Barton Rouge were forced to close. The excessive amount of water made travels impossible as well as led to the closure of US 51 and even Interstate 55 roads. This, in its turn, caused an overnight strand of hundreds of motorists and tractor trailers. The US government has officially declared four parishes as federal disaster areas: East Baton Rouge, Tangipahoa, Livingston and St. Helena.
The forecasters expect more thunderstorms and scattered showers to come. National Weather Service specialists indicate that the flood resulted from a thousand-year rain. Because of the intensity of the flood, the government is also concerned with the Zika threat, as with the so much water to remain, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should take measures against mosquitoes. Moreover, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration foresees about 12 to 17 storms to happen this year. There is even a caution that one or two those storms may become “major” hurricane.
Considering so many details on the recent terrific disaster and its magnitude, it seems outrageous why National Weather Service could not predict and warn the population about the upcoming danger. Hence, a strong aggrievement among the residents was produced as a result of the unexpected disaster in combination with the lack of attention towards residents’ plight. Quite logically, many residents blamed the president for neglecting the state, as even no official statement of support was made on the news on the part of the president.
It turns out such situation is not a novelty for the Louisianans as well: they were dealing with the issues of federal response to natural disasters during the presidency of George Bush. His ineptitude during the days following the Hurricane Katrina are quite parallel to the current inactiveness of president Obama.
Yet, that great deal of criticism directed at the authorities is at the same time unfair to some extent. Primarily, as the government has provided all the requested help and evacuated the victims. Nevertheless, many people and even politicians tend to dramatize the issue and search for political grounds for interpreting the president’s absence.
Currently, the water is receding starting from the northern reaches of the state. In the southern areas it will take much longer to dry out as mentioned by the meteorologist from the National Weather Service, Gavin Phillips. He assures residents by stating that at this point the situation is not going to worsen. Yet, various newspaper sources till share terrifying and shocking photos from the tragic scene in Louisiana: the photos show cars submerged in the water, residents evacuating in boats and floating caskets.
The positive part among so many disasters to happen to the state is the reaction of people. The immediate influx of donations and support is valuable and incredible. Running shelters, delivering aid, volunteering and all the rescue efforts serve as a valuable contribution and may urge the authorities to change the whole rescue system. Probably it works for smaller disasters and hazards, still, when the state is not prepared and cannot handle the outcomes, one can never underestimate the significance of simple human assistance.
Our post today sponsored by the water damage restoration team at NewtonFireandFlood.com. Be safe out there!