Obama Declares Flood-Hit Louisiana A Disaster

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — President Barack Obama has signed an order declaring Louisiana's widespread flooding from heavy rains a major disaster.

         Obama's disaster declaration triggers federal aid to help the state and residents and businesses. The White House says the declaration makes federal aid available to people in Bossier, Claiborne, Grant, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland and Webster parishes.

         Temporary housing, money for home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other forms of aid will be available.

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         The Federal Emergency Management Agency says more Louisiana parishes could also be declared areas pending damage surveys.

         Louisiana emergency officials say more than 4,958 homes have been damaged by flooding after heavy rains left large parts of the state under water.

         Louisiana officials say that number is expected to rise as more damage reports come in from areas still battling flooding.

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         Flooding from high rivers remained a major concern on Sunday in parts of Louisiana and Mississippi.

         In Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards was touring damage in western parts of Louisiana.

         Meanwhile, more bad weather was in the forecast Sunday night for northwest Louisiana and northern Mississippi.

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