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Here's How You Can Help Louisiana Flooding Victims

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP)-- A call center at the American Red Cross New York office was opened Friday to help field the large volume of emergency calls coming in as a result of the unprecedented disaster in Louisiana.

Many of these calls are also from individuals who have been displaced from their homes and are in need of assistance.

You can help by going to or by texting the word LAFLOODS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Louisiana continues to dig itself out from devastating floods, with search parties going door to door looking for survivors or bodies trapped by flooding so powerful in some cases it disturbed the dead and sent caskets floating from cemeteries.

At least 13 people died in the flooding that swept through parts of southern Louisiana after torrential rains lashed the region. While the waters have slowly receded in many areas, the hard work of rebuilding lives is just ramping up, with people cleaning out their homes while others struggle to find a place to stay.

Search teams going house to house are going out at least through the weekend, said Brant L. Thompson from the State Fire Marshal's office. Breaking down the various parishes where floods swept through on a grid, search teams have been knocking on doors, checking for signs of life like fresh tire tracks or debris piled up indicating someone is already inside cleaning things out. They hope for the best but with floods this catastrophic that caught many by surprise, they're also prepared for the worst.

Driving through neighborhoods where pools of water still stand outside and families are ripping out carpets and carrying water-logged sofas to the curb, the searchers are looking for houses with little activity. In many areas the water is still so high that people are rowing boats out to their houses to see what the situation is like inside.

"It is devastation, absolute devastation. I mean these homes, there are areas that have not flooded. They never flood and they flooded," said Stacey Rand of the Louisiana State Fire Marshal's office. "It caught everyone by surprise."

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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