Overview

A storm system described by the National Weather Service as an Inland Tropical Depression dropped more than 24 inches of rain across between August 11 and 13 in Louisiana and became one of the largest disasters in the United States since Hurricane Sandy. Tropical moisture along the Gulf Coast and additional is expected to worsen the flooding and the system is expected to continue westward across parts of Mississippi, Texas, and Missouri.

At least 13 people died from the flooding in Louisiana. More than 20,000 people were rescued from flooded homes and vehicles, thousands were evacuated, thousands are without power, and many roads are impassable. The Louisiana National Guard activated more than 2,000 guardsmen.

The Louisiana state governor declared a state of emergency and a federal disaster declaration was issued for affected areas on August 14. There are 20 parishes included in that declaration – almost one-third of the state’s 64 parishes.

Sources for this disaster profile include FEMA, National Weather Service, CNN News, responding NGOs and funders.

Background

U.S. Coast Guard members rescue locals from flood water on their flat-bottom boats in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Aug. 14, 2016. The Coast Guard sent water and air assets to assist the victims in the Baton Rouge area. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Giles)

At least 13 people died from the flooding in Louisiana. More than 20,000 people were rescued from flooded homes and vehicles, thousands were evacuated, thousands are without power, and many roads are impassable. The Louisiana National Guard activated more than 2,000 guardsmen.

The Louisiana Disaster Recovery Alliance, a consortium of Louisiana-based private, community, and corporate foundations and donors, is accepting proposals to address issues of disaster recovery and resilience and reduce levels of risk and vulnerability across the state in the face of repetitive events.

The Alliance previously made seven grants totaling $175,000 for programs like disaster data management, comprehensive water management, a sustainable community food hub and more.

The Louisiana governor declared a state of emergency and a federal disaster declaration was issued for affected areas on August 14. There were 20 parishes included in that declaration – almost one-third of the state’s 64 parishes. Livingston Parish area is one of the hardest-hit areas, with about 80 percent of the parish under water or flooded.

More than six rivers set record highs in southeast Louisiana, most extreme among them the Amite River cresting at 58.56, more than six feet above the old record from April 1977. Significant river flowing is expected to continue along portions of the Amite, Vermilion, Memento, and Calcasieu rivers for some time.

Louisiana suffered a major flood event  in March when more than 24 inches fell across the state.

In the Baton Rouge area,at least 273,391 people are living in flooded areas, and only 15 percent of affected homes have flood insurance. More than 7,000 businesses are affected, with retail, construction, healthcare, manufacturing and food service industries among the hardest hit.

Numerous government agencies have joined other organizations in response (see NGO response tab for list of other responding organizations):

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) expedited federal assistance to provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes. HUD granted a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and forbearance of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured home mortgages. Additionally, HUD is re-allocating existing federal resources such as the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME programs to give the state and communities the flexibility to redirect millions of dollars of funding to address critical needs, including housing and services for disaster survivors toward disaster relief.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) deployed two National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) Disaster Medical Assistance Teams consisting of approximately 80 NDMS members to Baton Rouge. In addition, U.S. Public Health Service commissioned corps officers and a 30-person command and control unit.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) deployed team leaders and subject matter expert personnel to assist the state and local government with debris removal and flood response operations. USACE also provided St. John Parish with HESCO Barriers. The state provided sand and coordinated with the National Guard for installation.

 

Profile last updated October 15, 2018 – 8 p.m. central.

CDP Insights

Read the CDP issue insight on Floods.

Take Action

Donate to CDP’s Gulf Coast Resilience Innovation Fund or through our Network For Good page.

Learn More

See CNN coverage here.

National Weather Service updates here.

Facts & Stats

  • Meteorologist Ryan Maue estimated that 6.9 trillion gallons of rain fell in Louisiana between August 8 and 14.
  • At least 20,000 people have been rescued from waters surrounding homes, cars, and trees.
  • More than $56 million in federal assistance through FEMA was approved during the week following the floods.
  • More than 100,000 residential or commercial structures reported damaged in the Baton Rouge alone.
  • At least 100 roads and highways closed.
  • At least six rivers had record crests, including breaking one record set in 1953.

The Direct Relief story map (below) details the information on frontline healthcare providers affected by flooding in central Louisiana.