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Governor Warns Louisiana Flood Threat Not Over

Members of the Louisiana Army National Guard unload people at a rally point after they were rescued from rising floodwater near Walker, La., after heavy rains inundated the region, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016.

The weather system that brought torrential flooding to the southern U.S. state of Louisiana has moved away, but forecasters and the state's governor are warning people to be on alert because some rivers may not reach their peak levels for several more days.

Governor John Bel Edwards said Sunday that more than 20,000 people have been rescued across the southern part of the state and that more than 10,000 were in shelters. He said an arena in the city of Baton Rouge is being used as a shelter for evacuees.

President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration for the state late Sunday, which directs federal aid to Louisiana to help with things like paying for temporary housing and home repairs, and to assist individuals and businesses recover from the storm.

According to the National Weather Service, more than 50 centimeters of rain has fallen in parts of Louisiana since Thursday. At least four people have died from the storms.

Much of the deluge has centered on Baton Rouge, the state capital, and the governor said rising waters had forced him and his family to evacuate the governor's mansion.

"We are not in control of how fast these floodwaters recede," he said, as he called for the public's patience.

Earlier this year, the same region of Louisiana and coastal areas of neighboring Mississippi was hit by flooding that killed at least four people and damaged thousands of homes.