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Relentless rain has triggered deadly flash flooding and a state of emergency across Louisiana.
Gov. John Bel Edwards declared the state of emergency Monday as rounds of intense rain, thunderstorms and isolated tornadoes threatened the southwestern part of the state.
Significant flooding has been reported across Louisiana from Baton Rouge to Lake Charles. Photo and videos shared online showed local streets turned into rivers, forcing drivers to abandon their cars while others traveled by boat.
Edwards has urged caution and said now is the time for residents to be aware of the changing weather conditions.
“Water rescues and other emergency actions have been necessary this afternoon as heavy rainfall fell across Southwest Louisiana,” he said in a statement. “We are only a few weeks away from the start of hurricane season, but this threat is the latest in a string of recent weather threats that remind us of the importance of preparedness and staying informed.”
Since Monday, parts of Louisiana have seen upward of 13 inches of rain in the past 24 hours — and forecasts show more is on the way with the risk of “excessive rainfall” through Thursday.
“As the weather threat continues this week, I implore Louisianans to monitor their local weather forecasts and follow all instructions from local leaders,” Edwards said.
A Flash Flood Watch remains in effect for the southern Louisiana region through noon Wednesday, according to weather officials.
Photos and video depict the damage the heavy rain and floods have caused so far. Here are scenes from across the state:
In an update, the National Weather Service in New Orleans said storms are expected to become more numerous Tuesday evening “with heavy rain possible.”