Obama declares disaster for Louisiana floods

Obama declares disaster for Louisiana floods

President Obama has declared a federal disaster after flooding displaced tens of thousands in Louisiana this weekend. 

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The southern Louisiana parishes of East Baton Rouge, Livingston, St. Helene and Tangipahoa are covered by the disaster declaration the White House announced Sunday night. The declaration means federal money will both help bolster state and local emergency response efforts and help individuals and businesses recover following the flooding. 

Days of heavy rainfall have led to historic flooding in southern Louisiana. The floods have sent more than 10,000 people to shelters in the state, and 20,000 people have been rescued from their homes since Friday, The Times-Picayune reported Monday. 

Obama spoke with Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) on Sunday, the White House said, and he’s been receiving updates on the situation from his Homeland Security adviser.

Edwards declared a state of emergency in Louisiana on Friday. His office said other parishes could be added to the federal disaster declaration as officials assess the damage there. 

“I have traveled to affected areas and have seen the destruction caused by this unprecedented flooding,” Edwards said in a Sunday statement.

“We are thankful for the federal government’s quick response to our request for an emergency declaration. This is an ongoing event, and we are confident that every available state and federal resource will be brought to bear. I fully expect that more parishes will be added to the declaration on a rolling basis.”