In Baker, just north of Baton Rouge, residents were rescued by boats or waded though waist-deep, snake-infested water to reach dry ground. Dozens of them awoke Saturday morning on cots at a makeshift Red Cross shelter only a few blocks from their flooded homes and cars.
John Mitchell, 23, said he swam to safety with his pit bull after police officers in a boat picked up his 20-year-old girlfriend, her 1 year-old daughter and Mitchell’s father.
“This is the worst it’s been, ever,” Mitchell said. “We tried to wait it out, but we had to get out.”
Mitchell fears he lost their trailer home and his car, which was flooded up to the seats. A bag of clothes was all he had time to save as the water levels rapidly rose.
Jeannie McAndrew Holmes has to wade through waist-high water to get to her home in Hammond. She’s still cleaning up from a flood in March, where she barely got a chance to save her most cherished possessions.
“We picked everything up and I grabbed a big rubbermaid and threw as many photos into it as I could. And this is where I get a little emotional, I mean your pictures are everything. You don’t replace pictures. And so that was the one thing that I hate to say ‘Come hell or high water,’ but that was coming with us.”
Shanita Angrum, 32, said she called 911 on Friday morning when she realized flood waters had trapped her family in their home. A police officer carried her 6-year-old daughter, Khoie, on his back while she and her husband waded behind them for what “felt like forever.”
“Snakes were everywhere,” she said. “The whole time I was just praying for God to make sure me and my family were OK.”
The body of a woman from Amite was recovered Saturday from the Tickfaw River, according to Michael Martin, chief of operations for the St. Helena Sheriff’s Office.
The woman, her husband and the woman’s mother-in-law were driving on a state highway Friday when their car was swept off the road. The woman’s husband and mother-in-law clung to a tree for hours before they were rescued Saturday, Martin said.
One man died Friday after slipping into a flooded ditch near the city of Zachary, said East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s spokesman Casey Rayborn Hicks, who identified the victim as 68-year-old William Mayfield.
The body of 54-year-old Samuel Muse was found in St. Helena Parish, where crews pulled his body from a submerged pickup on Louisiana Highway 10, authorities said.
Numerous rivers in southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi were overflowing. The governor said some were expected to crest more than 4 feet above previous records and officials were not sure just how widespread the damage would be.
LSU canceled its football fan day amid the floods.
In a 24-hour period, Baton Rouge had as much as 11 inches of rain. One weather observer reported more than 17 inches of rainfall in Livingston, according to the National Weather Service.
The Tickfaw River, just south of the Mississippi state line in Liverpool, Louisiana, was already at the highest level ever recorded.
In southwest Mississippi, Leroy Hansford, his wife and stepson were among those rescued near Gloster, which had more than 14 inches of rain.
Hansford, 62, said waters from Beaver Creek, which is normally more than 400 feet away from his house, rose quickly overnight. He said another stepson who lives nearby alerted him.
“We woke up and the water kept on coming,” Hansford said. “It came up to my waist.”