Aerial view of the flooded areas of Baton Rouge, La., are shown from a helicopter on August 15, 2016. To date, Coast Guard crews have rescued more than 195 people, assisted more than 2,902 people in distress and rescued 26 pets. Photo by Melissa Leake/U.S. Coast Guard/UPI | License Photo
BATON ROUGE, La., Aug. 19 (UPI) -- The Red Cross estimates flooding in Louisiana, which has killed at least 13 people, will cost more than $30 million -- calling it the worst natural disaster in the country since Hurricane Sandy.
More than 20 inches of rain fell in some parts of Louisiana in less than 24 hours last week. In one area of Livingston Parish, more than 31 inches of rain fell in 15 hours.
"Thousands of people in Louisiana have lost everything they own and need our help now," Brad Kieserman, Red Cross vice president of disaster services operations and logistics, said. "This disaster is the worst to hit the United States since Superstorm Sandy, and we anticipate it will cost at least $30 million -- a number which may grow as we learn more about the scope and magnitude of the devastation."
At least 30,000 Louisiana residents and 1,400 pets have been rescued from flooded areas. About 40,000 homes have been damaged to some degree, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said.
At least 7,000 people are staying in emergency shelters.
The Red Cross has asked for donations to support operations in the state.
"This isn't making the front pages," Red Cross spokesperson Craig Cooper said. "It's not making the landing page on websites. From the Red Cross' perspective, the Louisiana floods are page one."
Hurricane Sandy in 2012 caused about $75 billion in damage.