While draught and high temperatures fuel large wildfires across much of the western United States this fire season, unprecedented rains in Louisiana have resulted in historic floods which some are calling the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy. The historic Louisiana floods began on August 10th with rains pummeling the Baton Rouge area. By August 12th, flood waters had overflowed rivers and inundated the lowlands as rains continued to spread south and east across the state. As the waters begin to recede, residents as well as local officials are beginning to understand the extent of the damage.
By comparison, Hurricane Sandy and the recent Louisiana flooding were pale in comparison to Louisiana’s other famous disaster, Hurricane Katrina, which hit the Gulf Coast in August 2005, killing over 1,800 people and causing over $100 billion in damage.
Louisiana Floods at a Glance
- More than 60,000 homes have been damaged with some of the hardest hit communities reporting a total loss of 75% of their homes.
- Flooding of this magnitude is only forecasted to occur once every 1000 years.
- 6.9 Trillion gallons of rain fell in one week with some areas experiencing over 31 inches of rainfall in less than 15 hours.
- The Amite River reached a new record high of 46.2 feet devastating the town of Denham Springs.
- More than 30,000 people and 1,400 pets were rescued but tragically 13 Deaths have been reported as the result of the flooding and an unknown number of people still missing.
- 20 parishes so far have been declared as disaster areas. Over 106,000 residents have registered for federal aid.
- FEMA has approved more than $107 million is disaster relief grants. The Red Cross estimates their costs will rise well over $30 million.