Three people have died and thousands have been rescued after “historic” flooding swamped Louisiana.
The National Guard and emergency teams have used helicopters to rescue people stranded in their homes or cars.
Searches are continuing for missing people, as the rain is expected to continue over the weekend.
The heavy rainfall started on August 12 where some areas received more than 17ins of rain.
Neighboring Alabama and Mississippi are also experiencing severe weather.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency on August 12.
On August 13, the governor said: “This is an ongoing event. We’re still in response mode.”
John Bel Edwards and his family were relocated after water flooded their basement.
JR Shelton, the mayor of Central City told The Advocate newspaper: “This is a flood of epic proportions.
“When we talk about floods now, we’ll talk about the great flood of 2016. Everything else pales in comparison.”
Several rivers in Louisiana and Mississippi are overflowing. Gov. John Bel Edwards expects some of the rivers will rise 4ft above previous record levels.
Baton Rouge is one of the worst hit areas where as much as 11.3in of rain was reported. New Orleans has reported 2.34in.
While the worst of the rain appears to have passed, the weather system is expected to move north on August 14, hitting central and northern Louisiana.
Louisiana is prone to bursts of extreme weather; thousands of acres in the state were flooded in 2011 to divert water from the flooded Mississippi River and to spare cities, including Baton Rouge and New Orleans, that lie downstream.
In 2005, New Orleans suffered one of the worst natural disasters in US history, when Hurricane Katrina hit the city. Katrina killed nearly 2,000 people and displaced one million. Thousands of homes were flooded and destroyed in Louisiana and along the Gulf coast.
We live in turbulent times, not least due to extreme weather conditions. And, the consequences of natural disasters can be severe for small businesses. In today’s guide, we’re going to take a look at how you should react if your small business suffers from a natural disaster. Read on to find out more.
Do you have insurance protecting you from natural disasters? In some states, it is a necessity, but if you aren’t located in one of those areas, it’s not something you should avoid. Insurance means you get the cover and protection you need in the result of an extreme weather event. Nobody – not even meteorologists – can give you a 100% assurance nothing will happen where you work. Get the protection in place, and you will not have to shoulder the burden of clearing up alone.
Contact all employees
First of all, you will need to contact all your employees. Their safety is your responsibility, and you have to find out if there are any injuries in your workplace due to the event. You should also start to take names and contact details of everyone that is still available to work so that you can plan your business in the days ahead. Don’t forget that many employees will have family and friends suffering from the disaster, so may not be able to focus on their work activities. It’s important to weigh up each employee on an individual basis. Some might need to stay away while others can feel undervalued if they aren’t working.
When the dust settles, there’s the matter of cleaning up after the event. Of course, how you approach this depends largely on the event itself. In an earthquake scenario, things can be changed forever – and you might be looking at a move elsewhere. However, some disasters, such as floods, are recoverable. Get hold of a disaster cleanup company to help you get everything back in order.
Identify critical activities
The next step is to start getting your business back on track. Make sure you outline all the business critical activities that need doing. The idea here is to keep your business running as normally as possible. You may need to find temporary accommodation – but if you have insurance, this might be already in place. In a worst-case scenario, you can ask your employees to work from home if suitable.
Even with insurance, you might struggle to afford to recover your business. The good news is that there are funds available. Contact the Small Business Administration, who can provide loans for natural disasters of up to $2 million. Interest rates tend to be competitive, so it’s best you start your search for funding there.
Another important aspect of your business lies in your data. It is essential that you contact a disaster data recovery firm who will – hopefully – be able to save your vital information. One good way of preparing for the worst is to start using cloud-based services such as Dropbox and Google Drive.
We hope this has helped. The main thing to remember is that your business can survive the biggest natural disaster. We wish you all the best.
Australian fire fighters deliberately joined up two large fires near the Blue Mountains as part of efforts to control bushfires across New South Wales.
Extensive back-burning operations were being deployed in anticipation of worsening conditions on Wednesday, the New South Wales fire commissioner said.
On Tuesday morning more than 60 blazes were still alight, with 13 uncontained.
The region experienced light rain on Tuesday, but fire fighters say this will not be enough to quench the fires.
New South Wales declared a state of emergency on Sunday, after being caught in some of the region’s worst fires in years.
NSW Rural Fire Services Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said that the fires at State Mine and Mount Victoria had “been deliberately and tactically joined” to try and prevent them from merging with a third fire at Springwood.
Australian fire fighters deliberately joined up two large fires near the Blue Mountains as part of efforts to control bushfires across New South Wales
“We are seeing positive results of these very deliberate, very targeted, very decisive strategies being deployed particularly in relation to back-burning operations… particularly in light of [Wednesday’s] weather conditions.”
The emergency fire at State Mine has been downgraded to “watch and act” after some light rain at the fire zone.
However, Shane Fitzsimmons added that “there’s still a way to go” and that fire fighters would be braced for higher temperatures and stronger winds expected on Wednesday.
“We have got now probably 24 hours before we see the worst of the weather starting to develop and build across all these fire ground areas,” he said. The conditions on Wednesday would be “about as bad as it gets”.
A “fairly active storm cell” was heading towards the back end of the Blue Mountains, which could bring on stronger winds and “erratic weather behavior”, he added.
More than 1,500 fire fighters were tackling the blazes on Tuesday.
All schools in the Blue Mountains, and some schools in other affected areas, will be closed on Wednesday.
One man has died – possibly of a heart attack – while trying to protect his home. Hundreds of people have been left homeless by the bushfires.
Australian authorities are investigating whether a military training exercise using explosives may have started one of the huge bush fires burning in the state of New South Wales.
The exercise took place at a base near the town of Lithgow in the Blue Mountains region on Wednesday.
It was the same day that a massive bush fire – which is still burning – began.
About 200 homes have been destroyed in dozens of fires which have been burning for several days.
This year’s fires have come unusually early after unseasonably hot weather, and many are fearing a long and dangerous summer.
One man has died – possibly of a heart attack – while trying to protect his home.
The Australian Defense Force issued a statement about the fire burning between Lithgow and Bilpin, some 50 miles north-west of Sydney, which is reported to have burned through 74,000 acres and destroyed properties.
Australian authorities are investigating whether a military training exercise using explosives may have started one of the huge bush fires burning in the state of New South Wales
It said it was investigating the circumstances of the fire, which began on defense land.
“The fire started on 16 October, the same day that defense personnel were conducting an explosive ordnance training activity,” the statement said.
“Defense is investigating if the two events are linked.
“Our thoughts are with those who have lost property or whose property is threatened by these devastating fires.”
Firefighters have been trying to make the most of a relatively cool day to tackle about 20 fires that are burning out of control, but higher temperatures and strong winds are expected to create difficult conditions in the coming days.
New South Wales Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said Saturday’s conditions were a “pause”, but that the fire perimeter stretched for more than 300 miles.
“We’re by no means out of the woods,” he told broadcaster ABC.
“It’s just calmed down a little bit and obviously we’re bracing ourselves for these worsening conditions.”
Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said some of the fires were so large they would take some time to completely extinguish.
“Firefighters will be working on these fires for weeks,” he said.
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