40K homes damaged by Louisiana floods; 10 killed

נשלח 20 באוג׳ 2016, 3:14 על ידי Sustainability Org   [ עודכן 20 באוג׳ 2016, 8:42 ]
Michael Kunzelman, Melinda Deslatte and Rebecca Santana, Associated Press
Updated 3:26 pm, Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Photo: Ted Jackson, AP

In this aerial photo, rescue officials and civilians alike work to pull people from their flooded homes along the flooded Tangipahoa River near Amite, Independence, Tickfaw and Robert, Louisiana Saturday, August 13, 2016. (Ted Jackson/Nola.com | The Times-Picayune)

Danielle Blount kisses her 3-month-old baby Ember as she feeds her while they wait to be evacuated by members of the Louisiana Army National Guard near Walker, La., after heavy rains inundating the region, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016

People wade in water near flood damaged homes in Highland Ridge Subdivision in Youngsville, La., Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016. Torrential rains swamped parts of southern Louisiana, causing widespread flooding. (Scott Clause/The Daily Advertiser via AP)

Members of the Louisiana Army National Guard rescue people from rising floodwater near Walker, La., after heavy rains inundated the region, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016.

Volunteers pull a boat with a woman and young child as they evacuate from their homes Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016, in Baton Rouge. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards says more than 1,000 people in south Louisiana have been rescued from homes, vehicles and even clinging to trees as a slow-moving storm hammers the state with flooding. (John Oubre/The Advocate via AP)

A Lafayette firefighter brings guests luggage to the street while evacuating them from the Fairfield Inn in Lafayette, La., Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards says more than 1,000 people in south Louisiana have been rescued from homes, vehicles and even clinging to trees as a slow-moving storm hammers the state with flooding. (Brad Kemp/The Advocate via AP)

This aerial image shows flooded areas in Denhamp Springs, La., Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards says more than 1,000 people in south Louisiana have been rescued from homes, vehicles and even clinging to trees as a slow-moving storm hammers the state with flooding. (Patrick Dennis/The Advocate via AP)

People ride an ATV through a flooded residential neighborhood in Carencro, La., Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016, as record rainfall causes flooding across south Louisiana. (Scott Clause/The Lafayette Advertiser via AP)

In this aerial photo, rescue officials and civilians alike work to pull people from their flooded homes along the flooded Tangipahoa River near Amite, Independence, Tickfaw and Robert, Louisiana Saturday, August 13, 2016. (Ted Jackson/Nola.com | The Times-Picayune)

Rescue officials and civilians alike work to pull people from their flooded homes along the flooded Tangipahoa River near Amite, Independence, Tickfaw and Robert, Louisiana Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016. (Ted Jackson/Nola.com | The Times-Picayune via AP)

David Key boats away from his flooded home after reviewing the damage in Prairieville, La., Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. Key, an insurance adjuster, fled his home as the flood water was rising with his wife and three children and returned today to assess the damage.

David Key looks at the back yard of his flooded home in Prairieville, La., Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. Key, an insurance adjuster, fled his home as the flood water was rising with his wife and three children and returned today to assess the damage.

David Key looks at water out of his master bedroom windows in his flooded home in Prairieville, La., Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. Key, an insurance adjuster, fled his home as the flood water was rising with his wife and three children and returned today to assess the damage.

David Key opens the windows in his flooded home in Prairieville, La., Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. Key, an insurance adjuster, fled his home as the flood water was rising with his wife and three children and returned today to assess the damage.

David Key arrives at his flooded home in Prairieville, La., Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. Key, an insurance adjuster, fled his home as the flood water was rising with his wife and three children and returned today to assess the damage.

Mailboxes are seen just above flood water in Prairieville, La., Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. As waters begin to recede in parts of Louisiana, some residents struggled to return to flood-damaged homes on foot, in cars and by boat.

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — At least 40,000 homes were damaged and 10 people killed in the historic Louisiana floods, the governor said Tuesday, giving a stark assessment of the widespread disaster.

Gov. John Bel Edwards spoke at a news conference alongside FEMA administrator Craig Fugate, saying "well over" 20,000 people have been rescued since the flooding began Friday. His office later increased that figure to more than 30,000.

Beginning Friday, a torrent of about 2 feet of rain inundated the southern part of the state over a 48-hour period, and days later many homes and businesses were still underwater.

While some areas were entering recovery mode, the governor warned new places downstream could see flooding and that officials are still in search and rescue mode.

"I don't know we have a good handle on the number of people who are missing," the governor said.

Some residents returned to their flood-damaged homes and businesses for the first time Tuesday and found a soggy mess.

David Key used a small boat to get to his house in Prairieville and said it had taken on 5 inches of "muddy nasty bayou water." There were fish and thousands of spiders. And mold has started to set in.

"I'm not going to lie, I cried uncontrollably," he said. "But you have to push forward and make it through. Like everybody says, you still have your family."

The extent of damage was coming into clearer view. About 40,000 people had signed up for FEMA assistance and eight more parishes were added to the federal disaster declaration, bringing the total number to 12.

In Livingston Parish, one of the hardest-hit areas with about 138,000 people, an official estimated that 75 percent of the homes were a "total loss."

But Lori Steele, spokeswoman for the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office, was upbeat, saying the rescues taking place now are less of a "life-saving nature" and more to help people who were running low on supplies in flooded areas. As the main roads drain, emergency crews were going to be able get hot meals, water and medical supplies to the 25 shelters in the parish.

"We're tired but today's a good day," she said.

Rivers and creeks were still dangerously bloated in areas south of Baton Rouge as people filled sandbags there to protect their houses, bracing for the worst as the water worked its way south. In Ascension Parish, officials said some small towns have already been inundated.

The governor said more than 8,000 people were in shelters, but the number was constantly fluctuating as people arrive and leave.

The slow-moving, low-pressure system crawled into Texas, but the National Weather Service warned the danger of new flooding remained high due to the sheer volume of water flowing toward the Gulf of Mexico.

The latest deaths were attributed to three accidental drownings. No other details were immediately released about how the men died.

One town, Zachary, received more than 2 feet of rain in a 48-hour period that ended Saturday morning. Another, Livingston, got nearly 22 inches over the same stretch. Rivers in the region reached historic highs — occasionally shattering old records dating to 1983 floods.

The 4 feet of water that wrecked James DuPont's used car dealership in Baton Rouge has finally receded, allowing him to take stock of the devastation Tuesday.

His cars were all coated with a thin layer of dirt. The wooden floor boards in his office are scattered like matchsticks, exposing the wet cement underneath. All of his paperwork is a water-logged mess.

Floodwaters reached the "Open" sign on his rented office, and the 24-year-old fears his business, Louisiana Direct Buy, is now closed for good. He had a dozen or so vehicles on the property, including his personal car, and they all appear to be total losses.

"I don't have flood insurance so everything is gone," he said. "I'll try to salvage what I can. I don't know if I'm going to be able to open back up or not."

___

Santana reported from New Orleans. Kevin McGill and Bill Fuller in New Orleans contributed to this report.

Source: chron.com


Al Gore says climate change exacerbated Houston, Louisiana floods
Posted by
Date: August 16, 2016

Former Vice President Al Gore is scheduled ot be in Houston. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Vice President Al Gore is scheduled to be in Houston. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

Former Vice President Al Gore warned Tuesday that rapid flooding events — like in Houston this spring and southern Louisiana right now — are exacerbated by climate change and could continue to worsen without taking action.

Gore came to Houston — the world’s energy capital — to launch The Climate Reality Project’s three-day leadership training conference to push for more grassroots activism and community engagement.

“Texas has really been hit hard by the climate crisis and, for the last 35 years, has had more billion-dollar-plus climate disasters than any other state,” Gore said. “Houston in particular has been hard hit.”

LATEST ON LOUISIANA FLOODING: 40K homes damaged by Louisiana floods; 10 killed

He said his heart is with those struggling with flooding in many parts of Louisiana.  The National Weather Service reported, for instance, the community of Watson’s 31.39 inches of rain during the downpour exceeded the total amount of rain in five years for some parts of the Los Angeles area.

“These kinds of record downpours — that’s one of the manifestations of the climate crisis,” said Gore.

He emphasized the importance of slowing climate change, which scientists say is accelerated by burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas.

“It is central to the prospects for our future, for the futures of our families and our communities, and the future of human civilization,” he said. “That sounds overly expansive but that really and truly is the case.”

RELATED: Climate change cost for fossil fuel industry: $33 trillion

Gore, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, founded the climate project a decade ago. He recently endorsed Hillary Clinton for president over Jill Stein, the candidate for the Green Party, which held its convention in Houston earlier this month.

Gore has long supported Congress adopting a carbon tax to put a financial price on each ton of carbon emitted from fossil fuels. The idea is to raise the cost as an incentive for industries and individuals to use less.

Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP and some other energy giants have come out in favor of a revenue-neutral carbon tax — lowering some other taxes to offset any increase — although environmentalists and industry often disagree on how such a tax would be implemented. Any carbon tax proposal is considered dead on arrival in the current, GOP-controlled Congress.

But U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, said the energy capital is the right place to make the climate activism push to encourage energy companies to develop solutions for the future.

“We are the first witnesses to climate change,” she said about the residents of the Houston area, citing the “tax day floods” in April, more flooding in May, and concerns of “stronger and more powerful hurricanes.”

Ken Berlin, president and CEO of The Climate Reality Project, said the effort has trained more than 10,000 people globally to speak about climate change and make presentations. The goal is to inform communities about the threat one neighbor at a time, he said.

RELATED: 19 senate Democrats call out Exxon, fossil fuel industry on climate change denial

“Our country is so divided. People tend to listen to people from their own community,” Berlin said, noting that about 600 people are participating in this week’s training.

He specifically highlighted Georgetown  — “a red city in the reddest part of the country” — for planning to get all of its electricity from wind and solar by the end of 2017. Georgetown is about 30 miles north of Austin.

Berlin also praised the Paris climate agreement reached in December that’s supported by nearly 200 countries. But he said it’s goal will only be realized throughout grassroots activism in each and every country.

“That agreement is enforceable only in the country that did it,” Berlin said. “It’s not enforceable on the international level. Every country is critical.”

Source: fuelfix.com

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