USA LOUISIANA FLOODING.jpg
A handout picture provided by the US Coast Guard on 16 August 2016 shows a flooded area of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA, 15 August 2016.
Photograph: EPA/MELISSA LEAKE/US COAST GUARD/HANDOUT

At least eleven people have died and more than 30,000 people have had to be rescued from "historic" flooding in the southern US state of Louisiana, Governor John Bel Edwards said Tuesday.

More than 8,000 people were in shelters as search and rescue operations continued in the flooding that began after heavy rainfall hit the southern part of the state on Friday, CNN reported.

"Nobody has been forgotten - this is a very difficult situation to get responses out as quickly as we would like to," Edwards told a press conference. "This is a historic flooding event."

He also called the flooding "unprecendented."

Approximately 40,000 homes have been damaged "to varying degrees" by the disaster, Edwards added.

The governor also encouraged residents to register for federal disaster relief, noting that 40,000 individuals had already requested assistance.

Edwards said that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had added eight more parishes to its major disaster declaration, which had been initially granted to four. The governor requested the US government to declare a major disaster in a total of 21 parishes.

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