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Flooding in Louisiana sparks response from recovery teams

Flood waters from the Red River engulf houses in the River Bluff subdivision in Bossier City, Louisiana in a photo released by the Bossier Parish Sheriff June 9, 2015.

REUTERS

BATON ROUGE, La. -- State officials are sending recovery teams to rural northwest Louisiana to assess flood damage from the Red River as homes and farmland remain under water.

Kevin Davis of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness said Thursday that the teams will gather information in support of possible federal assistance. Officials will request a federal disaster declaration. Federal Emergency Management Agency representatives are expected in the Shreveport-Bossier City area next week.

Damage has been spreading as floodwaters from storms in neighboring Oklahoma and Texas overwhelm the river. Firm numbers on homes and businesses affected weren't available, but the recovery teams hope to get that data.

CBS affiliate KLFY reports that one of those emergency crews on the scene is the Louisiana National Guard based out of Lafayette, who have been pulling 24-hour shifts filling sandbags to build walls which turned out to be the only protection homeowners had from the flood.

The National Weather Service says river levels will remain high for the next several weeks. The river is expected to crest in areas south of Shreveport during the next several days.

CBS affiliate WAFB reports that flood warnings are in effect for East Baton Rouge, Pointe Coupee and West Feliciana, La.