Here’s what the calamity looks like, by the numbers:
60,000: Homes damaged
More than 60,000 homes have been reported damaged by Louisiana parishes impacted by the flooding, said Mike Steele, the communications director for the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. However, the damage may be much greater. Steele says a forthcoming assessment by FEMA will be more thorough.
Health risks of mold
- After flooding, lingering dampness in walls, wood, carpets and homes provide perfect environment for mold to spread, posing serious health risks. Infants, children, pregnant women, seniors and people with existing respiratory conditions or immune deficiency are at higher risks for getting affected by mold.Inhaling large quantities of mold can cause respiratory problems, congestion, cough and nervous system pains like headaches. Symptoms also include eye, nose, throat and skin irritations. If you're allergic to mold, you may have difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.Recent studies suggest potential link of children getting asthma when they're exposed to mold early on.
- Sources: FEMA and CDC
Gov. John Bel Edwards said Tuesday that volunteers are needed to help clean out mud from homes.
“Not everyone can do this on their own,” the governor said. He said anyone interested in helping can visit VolunteerLouisiana.gov.
The entire state of Louisiana has just 4.6 million people – less than the population of metro Atlanta.
6,900,000,000,000: Gallons of rainfall in one week
About 6.9 trillion gallons of rain pummeled Louisiana between August 8 and 14, according to meteorologist Ryan Maue.
That’s enough to fill more than 10.4 million Olympic-size swimming pools.
13: Deaths across the state
Officials have reported five in East Baton Rouge Parish, three in Tangipahoa Parish, two in St. Helena Parish, two in Livingston Parish, and one in Rapides Parish.
$30 million: The estimated cost of the flood so far
“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,” Red Cross official Brad Kieserman said.
The costliest US floods
Hurricane Katrina in 2005: $16.3 billion
Superstorm Sandy in 2012: $8.3 billion
Hurricane Ike in 2008: $2.7 billion
Hurricane Ivan in 2004: $1.6 billion
Hurricane Irene in 2011: $1.3 billion
- Source: Federal Emergency Management Agency
31.39: Inches of rain in one day
More than 2 1/2 feet of rain pummeled part of Livingston Parish on Tuesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.
The hardest-hit part of the parish was Watson, where 31.39 inches fell between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Baton Rouge was pounded with more than 19 inches of rain during those same 15 hours.
20,000: People rescued
Members of the Coast Guard and National Guard, along with emergency responders and regular civilians, helped take more than 20,000 residents to safety, officials said.
Gov. Edwards said 1,000 pets have also been rescued.
500 years: Expected frequency of a flood this big
The likelihood of a flood this catastrophic in the Baton Rouge area is about once every 500 years.
Since last August, five other floods across the country have been considered “500-year floods,” according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.