Rain, some of it record-setting, flood 400 homes throughout Mississippi
"This is a pretty historic event," Mississippi official says
Governors in Louisiana and Mississippi declare states of emergency
Record-breaking rain in the Mississippi Delta flooded 300 homes as storms pummel the Southeast, killing four people so far, authorities said.
Fourteen inches of rain deluged Clarksdale, Mississippi, and 12 inches fell in Greenville, authorities said. The towns sit on or near the Mississippi River.
An additional 100 homes flooded in the Pine Belt region of the state Friday after Meridian received up to a foot of rain, authorities said.
Add flooding along the Gulf Coast, and the disaster became a triple assault. In all, 400 homes flooded in Mississippi.
“This is a pretty historic event. We’ve had a threefold event in … 48 hours. Looking for another 48 hours of impacts due to rains,” Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director Lee Smithson said.
Meanwhile, storms and flooding prompted calls for residents to move to higher ground in Louisiana and forced the shutdown of some New Orleans schools.
Fears of levee breaches grew.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Covington and surrounding areas in St. Tammany Parish in southeastern Louisiana early Saturday. The warning is expected to expire at 8 a.m. CT (9 a.m. ET)
The Bogue Falaya River continues to rise and is expected to crest near 21.5 feet. Other areas expected to experience flooding are Abita Springs and Madisonville.
The situation was much the same 24 hours earlier.
“Seek higher ground now!” the National Weather Service said, warning of a flash flood emergency Friday for Louisiana’s Tangipahoa Parish and the city of Hammond.
Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency, and the weather service issued a flash flood emergency for several other parishes.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant also declared a state of emergency, and officials warned of flash flooding.
“The water’s still rising,” said David Burford, the Washington County, Mississippi, emergency management director.
One dead in Texas, 3 in Louisiana
Storms across the region have left at least four people dead, officials said.
In Texas, a man died after his kayak capsized in Dickinson Bayou near Galveston, police said.
Three people were killed in Louisiana, the governor said. In one case, a driver died when floodwater swept his vehicle off a road in Bienville Parish, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness said. The two others died in Ouachita Parish, according to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.
The U.S. Coast Guard said one helicopter crew rescued a man and a dog from a rooftop in Washington Parish as it responded to reports of multiple people stranded on top of homes.
New Orleans shut down some schools Friday because of flash floods. Officials warned that floodwater could rise above a levee and jeopardize thousands of homes.
In Tennessee, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office deputies went door-to-door Friday using an amphibious vehicle to save people trapped by rising water near the Loosahatchie River, including an 87-year-old man with a medical condition, CNN affiliate WMC-TV reported
The region is at risk of further flooding until Monday.
State government offices in 40 parishes were to be closed through Friday, according to Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne. The northwest part of the state could see another 8 to 10 inches on top of the drenching of more than 14 inches already in some areas.
In Bossier Parish, officials said they had closed at least 100 roads.
They issued a mandatory evacuation order this week for residents of 3,500 homes that could be at risk if floodwaters keep rising.
CNN’s Artemis Moshtaghian, Catherine E. Shoichet, Michael Guy, Dave Alsup, Mayra Cuevas, Henry Hanks, Sheena Jones and Lauren Leslie contributed to this report.