5 dead, thousands flee as historic floods swamp South
Submerged roadways, backed-up sewers, stalled cars and flooded homes: The dramatic scenes in and around Shreveport, La., were being repeated Thursday in the South as historic flash flooding continued to pound the region.
Five people have been killed in Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana since the deluge began earlier this week, and the heavy rain promises not to let up for at least another day.
More than 20 inches of rain has already fallen in some places, the Weather Channel reported. In all, some areas will receive two feet of rain by the time the storm winds down Friday, the National Weather Service said.
In addition to Louisiana, the hardest-hit state where three deaths occurred, parts of Arkansas, western Tennessee and southern Illinois will also be drenched by locally heavy rain into Friday, according to the weather service.
Flash flood watches and warnings stretched from Lake Charles, La., to Evansville, Ind., as of late afternoon Thursday. More than 80 river gauges in the region reported flooding Thursday.
The flood threat will last across the region even after the rain stops, as water seeps into the ground and works its way into progressively larger rivers, AccuWeather reported.
In Louisiana, 3,000 homes were under mandatory evacuations, FEMA said. At least 9,000 customers were without power, schools were closed in several parishes and many roads were closed.
Quickly rising floodwaters forced mandatory evacuations of neighborhoods near swollen tributaries. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards called in the state National Guardto assist rescues by boat and in big military trucks.
“There has been an awful lot of damage and a lot of people affected,” Edwards said. “Our thoughts and prayers and resources are with north Louisiana.”
In Bienville Parish, a man drowned Wednesday afternoon when his vehicle was swept into a nearby creek as he attempted to drive across a flooded highway, the Weather Channel reported. Two people drowned in Oklahoma and Texas earlier in the week. (USA Today)
Pistachio-Linked Salmonella Outbreak Sickens 11 People In 9 States
A pistachio recall over possible salmonella contamination has been expanded after reported illnesses spanning nine states.
Eleven people have been sickened and two have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control, whose investigation found that the pistachios, which were produced by California-based Wonderful Pistachios, were the likely source of the outbreak.
The bagged pistachios have been sold nationwide and in Canada under the brand names Wonderful, Paramount Farms and Trader Joe’s.
Cases were reported in Washington state, Arizona, North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia and Connecticut.
The recalled products can be identified by a lot code number found on the lower back or bottom panel of the package. Trader Joe’s is recalling three products, but a much wider variety of Wonderful Pistachios is being recalled, ranging from 1.5-oz products to 25 pounds. A full list of the recalled products provides the UPC numbers, code dates and lot numbers.
Because of these long shelf life of these products, the CDC says they may still be in people’s homes, and that they should be thrown out. They can also be returned to Wonderful Pistachios for a refund. （CBS）