Several police and fire stations are offering sandbags to those residents being inundated by rain today. Schools, offices and businesses in many south Louisiana Parishes are closed today, and thousands are without power. In East Baton Rouge Parish, Central Mayor Jr. Shelton says they had over 10 inches of rain fall in 6 hours.
"I've been out here 38 years and to see this much rain this quick, this is like the fire chief said, we're charting new territory now."
Weather experts say this is similar to a tropical storm rain-wise, but the wind factor is not there. Shelton says one of the biggest problems is that the issues related to these storms are every changing.
"We're having literally hundred of calls coming to the fire department for help and we're just trying to deal with everything as we can."
Forecasters are urging residents to watch for rising streams, creeks ditches and other low lying areas. East Feliciana Parish OEP Deputy Director Jim Parker says he’s dealt with flooding before, but nothing like this.
"Areas that usually get flooded are in the eastern part of East Feliciana Parish but we've got flooding going on all over the parish, roads, bridges, people getting stranded."
More flooding is expected tonight and the flash flood watch remains in effect for almost the entire bottom half of the state through tomorrow evening. Parker says they are doing everything they can to help residents.
"We've got first responders out helping the citizens that are stranded and we're trying to get more sandbags, we're running out of sandbags fast."
State Emergency Officials from throughout the bottom half of the state are saying the amount of rain that’s fallen, in such a short period of time, is reaching historic proportions. Frank Reviette with the National Weather Service in Slidell, says southeast Louisiana got a ton of water in just a few hours.
"We have probably widespread four to eight inches, there was probably some isolated rainfall, probably near 10 or 12 in that area."
Reviette says a main issue with this area of low pressure is that the bottom half is churning in the Gulf of Mexico which is adding fuel to the storm. He says they’ve been getting reports of street flooding and water in homes.
"Also some of that is moving into the rivers, the rivers where that part of Louisiana and southwest Mississippi, so folks who are near rivers should pay close attention to that."
Reviette says, unfortunately, this system is churning very slowly, and the rain will continue into Saturday. Almost the entire bottom half of the state is under a flash flood watch through Saturday evening. He says there might be some slight progression to the northwest into the weekend.
"But it's going to be a very slow process to move all of the heavy rainfall away from the region."