Submerged roadways, backed-up sewers, stalled cars and flooded homes: The dramatic scenes in and around Shreveport, La., were being repeated Thursday in the South as historic flash flooding continued to pound the region.
Five people have been killed in Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana since the deluge began earlier this week, and the heavy rain promises not to let up for at least another day.
More than 20 inches of rain has already fallen in some places, the Weather Channel reported. In all, some areas will receive two feet of rain by the time the storm winds down Friday, the National Weather Service said.
In addition to Louisiana, the hardest-hit state where three deaths occurred, parts of Arkansas, western Tennessee and southern Illinois will also be drenched by locally heavy rain into Friday, according to the weather service.
Flash flood watches and warnings stretched from Lake Charles, La., to Evansville, Ind., as of late afternoon Thursday. More than 80 river gauges in the region reported flooding Thursday.
The flood threat will last across the region even after the rain stops, as water seeps into the ground and works its way into progressively larger rivers, AccuWeather reported.
In Louisiana, 3,000 homes were under mandatory evacuations, FEMA said. At least 9,000 customers were without power, schools were closed in several parishes and many roads were closed.
Quickly rising floodwaters forced mandatory evacuations of neighborhoods near swollen tributaries. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards called in the state National Guard to assist rescues by boat and in big military trucks.
"There has been an awful lot of damage and a lot of people affected," Edwards said. "Our thoughts and prayers and resources are with north Louisiana."
In Bienville Parish, a man drowned Wednesday afternoon when his vehicle was swept into a nearby creek as he attempted to drive across a flooded highway, the Weather Channel reported. Two people drowned in Oklahoma and Texas earlier in the week.
Sharon Anderson, her three children and four grandchildren were rescued from her south Bossier Parish mobile home after rising water threatened to trap them, the Associated Press reported.
"This morning it was touching the bottom of the houses," she told the AP on Wednesday. "Now the steps on my back porch are under water and if you walk down the driveway, it's over the knee."
Residents of the Pecan Valley Mobile Home in south Bossier City boarded boats to travel through waist-high water. Evacuation was not mandatory for the community's 1,000 residents, but manager LeeAnn Wells said more than 100 chose to flee the high waters.
"We've never had water like this before," Wells said.
Contributing: The Times, Shreveport, La.