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Photo: AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
A member of the St. George Fire Department assists residents as they wade through floodwaters from heavy rains in the Chateau Wein Apartments in Baton Rouge, La.
Photo by AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Massive flooding in Louisiana over the weekend hit areas that were already underwater in March.

Unbelievably, last weekend’s flooding was even worse than the unprecedented, historic disaster Louisiana residents experienced last spring, according to Len and Carrie Blaukamp, regional managers for World Renew Disaster Response Services (DRS) in a response to the March – and now August’s floods.

From Saturday to Sunday, Lousiana state officials reported that seven people died, and more than 20,000 people were rescued from their flooded homes and stranded vehicles.

Louisiana’s governor says that 10,000 people are being housed in shelters. The torrential rain is affecting eastern Baton Rouge and Denham Springs, La.  At least 2,700 homes have been flooded in Baton Rouge, Livingston, St. Helena Parish, and Tangipahoa Parish.

World Renew DRS already had plans to be in Louisiana on Aug. 23 to meet with communities regarding  massive flooding from earlier this year, the Blauwkamps said.

“These same communities were hit again this weekend. It’s devastating. We are expanding our assignment to assess the recent damage firsthand and meet with local officials as well as partner organizations in the disaster area.”

Rivers and streams in the area are reported to be overflowing at record-high levels, with 11 locations reporting record-flood crests.

The Comite River, east of Baton Rouge, peaked at a record 34 feet around midnight on Aug. 15. Flood stage for the river is 20 feet, and the previous record high water level for the river was set at 30 feet in 1953.

President Obama declared a federal emergency in Tangipahoa, Livingston, East Baton Rouge and St. Helena parishes with more declarations expected this week. The rain is expected to continue through Wednesday, threatening communities with even more flood damage.

World Renew DRS asks for donations to support these communities, many of which have been hit by multiple flooding events.

Financial donations will be used in the months and years to come, not only for home repair, but to provide hope in support in Christ’s name throughout the many stages of recovery.

“A gift of any amount will make a real impact in the lives of people who are suffering after a disaster like this,” said Andrew Ryskamp, interim director for World Renew DRS.

“World Renew DRS already has plans to go door to door in Louisiana communities to gather information about people’s unmet needs and to talk with communities about reconstruction in response to flooding from earlier this year.

“This new flooding brings more opportunities for World Renew DRS volunteers and for those who support this work financially to make a positive, Christian impact in the lives of flood survivors in Louisiana.”

To make a financial contribution to help Louisiana flood survivors through World Renew DRS, donate online today.