I-10 westbound still closed in flood-ravaged Louisiana

Thousands continue to cope with the devastation caused by floodwaters in southern Louisiana. The flooding has also wreaked havoc on highways. Interstate 10 westbound remained closed Wednesday and Louisiana State Police told The Weather Channel today that more than 100 vehicles were stranded on I-12.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced Friday that a state of emergency was declared in Louisiana because of the flooding.

The declaration triggers the temporary suspension of certain federal safety regulations, including hours of service, for motor carriers and drivers engaged in specific aspects of the emergency relief effort. The declaration expires on Sept. 10.

Twenty parishes, including East Baton Rouge, Livingston and Lafayette, have already been declared a major disaster by the federal government. According to multiple reports, the flood has claimed at least 11 lives and impacted at least 40,000 homes. About 30,000 people have been rescued or forced to evacuate.

“This is a historic flooding incident in Louisiana,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a news release. “We are working around the clock to get every available resource into the hands of the people of our state. No one will be forgotten as we continue to assess the damage. I will continue to work with the federal government, as well as state, local, and federal partners, to make sure the resources we need are on the ground as soon as possible.”

According to Weather.com, six river gauges in Louisiana have reached record levels. Amite River surpassed its previous record by 6 feet in Magnolia. Some areas received more than 30 inches of rain in a three-day period.