South-west Louisiana floods force 10,000 people from homes (VIDEO)

South-west Louisiana floods force 10,000 people from homes (VIDEO)Across southern Louisiana Sunday, residents scrambled to get to safety as rivers and creeks burst their banks, swollen from days of heavy rain that in some areas came close to two feet over a 48-hour period.

In high-water vehicles, boats and helicopters, emergency crews hurried to rescue scores of south Louisiana residents as the governor warned that it was not over. More than 10,000 people are in shelters and the Baton Rouge River Center — usually reserved for major events — was sheltering evacuees.

From the air homes in south-west Louisiana looked more like little islands surrounded by flooded fields.

Farmland was covered, streets descended into impassable pools of water, shopping centres were inundated with only roofs of cars peeking above the water.

From the ground, it was just as catastrophic.

Drivers tried to navigate treacherous roads where the water lapped at the side or covered the asphalt in a running stream. Abandoned cars were pushed to the side of the road, lawn furniture and children's toys floating through the waters.

The low-pressure system that wreaked such havoc moved into Texas, but the National Weather Service warned that there's still a danger of fresh floods, as swollen rivers drain toward the Gulf of Mexico.

Most of the rivers have crested, but several are still rising.

The federal government declared a major disaster in the state, specifically in the parishes of Tangipahoa, St. Helena, East Baton Rouge and Livingston.

Four people have been reported dead, said Devin George, the state registrar for vital records, earlier Sunday. Later Sunday, a woman's body was recovered by divers from inside a flooded vehicle in East Baton Rouge Parish, appearing to raise the death toll to five.

Authorities worked throughout Sunday to rescue people from cars stranded on a miles-long stretch of Interstate 12 until the governor said on Twitter late in the day that everyone had been rescued.
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