At least four people died and 80 others were rescued overnight after around a foot of rain fell on Lake Charles, Louisiana, a city of around 77,000, flooding streets and homes. A deluge of rain hammered parts of the Gulf Coast Monday. Between 8 to 15 inches of rain fell. Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter told reporters that the rainfall totals will probably meet the threshold for a 100-year event. The first death was reported Tuesday morning after a vehicle was submerged in a canal. Three deaths were reported in East Baton Rouge. Some were possibly linked to power outages. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency. This is an administrative step that authorizes the use of state resources to aid in storm response efforts.
Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter said rainfall totals will likely exceed Hurricane Laura. The sheriff urged people to stay off the roads. “Driving on the roadways at this time is putting yourself in danger, along with causing damage to other residents’ property from the rising water.” The rains are forecast to continue for days. “This is not just a one-time thing, this is something we’re going to be dealing with pretty much all week,” Donald Jones, meteorologist for the weather service in Lake Charles, said. Tornadoes warnings were also issued in various cities. Lake Charles is a part of Calcasieu Parish, where “all areas of the parish are experiencing flooding on the roadways and conditions are deteriorating and changing quickly,” the sheriff’s office said on Facebook.