La. Flood Worst Natural Disaster in the US since Hurricane Sandy, Red Cross Says

Billy Blazier, Randy Diez Jr. and Tray Blazier check in on Billy Blazier’s flooded home Aug. 18, 2016, in Sorrento, La.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The flood currently devastating Louisiana is the worst natural disaster to hit the United States since Hurricane Sandy, the Red Cross says, according to CNN.

"Thousands of people in Louisiana have lost everything they own and need our help now," Brad Kieserman, the Red Cross' vice president of disaster services operations and logistics, told the network."This disaster is the worst to hit the United States since Superstorm Sandy, and we anticipate it will cost at least $30 million—a number which may grow as we learn more about the scope and magnitude of the devastation."


At least 13 people have died across five parishes in the state, and with more rain still in the forecast, the disaster could be far from over.

One person told CNN that at least 36 of her relatives have lost all 13 of their collective homes.

"It's unbelievable what we've been through," Joe Lee Misner—who lives in Livingston Parish, the epicenter of the disaster—said. "We never imagined this would happen."

According to CNN, in one part of the parish, more than 31 inches of rain fell in 15 hours.


Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said that at least 40,000 homes have had some damage, although it is not immediately clear how many were made uninhabitable.

On Thursday, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson visited the areas that were hit by the disaster, a day after the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency arrived.


President Barack Obama has directed FEMA Director Craig Fugate to "utilize all resources available to assist in the response and recovery," declaring at least 20 parishes disaster areas, the network notes.

The president, however, CNN reports, continues to be criticized for continuing his Martha's Vineyard vacation instead of visiting Louisiana.


In the meantime, CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said that because Louisiana is flat, it is likely the flood waters will recede very slowly.

"This is a very lumbering, slow, slow flood. It's going to be with us still for many, many days," he said.


Read more at CNN.

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