At least two people have been killed in flash flooding after torrential rain battered parts the central US Gulf Coast. Rescue crews are working to reach scores of people who have been left stranded.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood alert for parts of southern Mississippi and southeastern Louisiana, warning that heavy rainfall was likely to continue throughout the weekend.
The governor of the state of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, declared a state of emergency on Friday after hours of unrelenting rain forced several communities to evacuate. Authorities said numerous rivers had broken their banks, threatening widespread flooding and prompting the closure of schools and roads across the region.
Rescue workers found the body of a 68-year-old man who drowned in floodwaters near Baker, Louisiana. Another body was recovered in the state's north, inside a pickup truck that had been swept off a highway near the town of Greensburg. Meanwhile, rescue crews were working to reach people trapped in their homes.
In Louisiana, the Comite River near Baton Rouge and the Amite River near Denham Springs were predicted to reach record heights over the weekend. Forecasters said Louisiana's Tickfaw River was already at the highest level ever recorded on Friday morning.
This week's severe weather comes five months after March flooding in Louisiana and Mississippi left at least four people dead and thousands of homes damaged.
nm/rc (Reuters, AP)