The floodwaters in southern Louisiana are slowly receding after historic flooding hit the region. Some areas around Baton Rouge and Lafayette received more than two feet of rain since last Thursday.
New numbers announced Tuesday put the death toll from the floods at 11 and that number could grow. More than 30,000 people and 1,000 pets have been rescued. 40,000 people have registered with FEMA for disaster assistance after the federal government declared Louisiana a disaster area.
It’s much harder at this point to put a number on the amount of vehicles damaged or destroyed by the floodwaters. The National Insurance Crime Bureau says it’s too early to get a reliable estimate yet, but it expects that figure to be moderate. The number is already upwards of 3,000.
“We don’t have a reliable estimate on affected vehicles yet,” NICB spokesperson Frank Scafidi told us over email. “We expect a moderate figure, but no way to know as yet. Moreover, the insured number will, no doubt, be smaller than the overall figure.”
The NICB cautions consumers to be careful when buying a used vehicle after any flooding event. The potential to buy a flood damaged car “disguised as perfectly fine is real at times like these.”
Carfax is analyzing the situation as well. According to Automotive News, a Carfax spokesperson says after looking at images of impacted areas, the number of damaged or destroyed cars could be significant.
As far as what caused this whole mess, Weather Channel meteorologists say the flooding is the result of a system similar to an inland tropical depression.
More than 30,000 rescues took place thanks to emergency personnel and, in some cases, good samaritans. The dramatic video below shows a woman and her dog being pulled out of a sinking Mazda Miata.