Saint Amant, La. — A slow-moving tropical system dumped record rains across southeast Louisiana, with some places reporting more than two feet of rain over a three-day period in mid-August 2016. Cresting floodwaters from several rivers eclipsed previous records. Federal disaster officials characterized the rainfall as "historic," and President Obama declared a "major disaster."
Water rose so fast in some areas that emergency services and shelters also needed quick evacuation. Rescue helicopters plucked people from rooftops and dropped water during the day to stranded motorists cut off by floodwaters as a ragtag fleet of volunteers with small fishing boats, airboats, and hunting canoes joined state and federal rescue efforts to save neighbors from fast-rising waters. (more)