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Louisiana floods called worst U.S. natural disaster since Superstorm Sandy


  • A statue of Mary is seen partially submerged in flood water in Sorrento, La., Aug. 20. (CNS photo/Jonathan Bachman, Reuters)
  • Richard Rossi and his 4-year-old great-grandson Justice wade through water Aug. 15 after their home flooded in St. Amant, La. (CNS photo/Jonathan Bachman, Reuters)
  • Melissa Gouda removes flood damaged items out of a friend's house in St. Amant, La., Aug. 21. Historic flooding in southern Louisiana killed at least 13 people and damaged an estimated 60,000 homes, said state officials. At least 102,000 people have registered for federal recovery assistance. (CNS photo/Jonathan Bachman, Reuters)
  • Residents pile debris outside their flood-damaged homes in St. Amant, La., Aug. 21. Historic flooding in southern Louisiana killed at least 13 people and damaged an estimated 60,000 homes, said state officials. At least 102,000 people have registered for federal recovery assistance. (CNS photo/Jonathan Bachman, Reuters)
  • A car sits in a flooded street in Hammond, La., March 11. The state has been hit hard with extreme weather this year, most recently with historic flooding in August that destroyed some 60,000 homes. (CNS photo/Dan Anderson, EPA)
  • Stanley Bell looks out at the flood waters surrounding his apartment complex in Hammond, La., March 11. The state has been hit hard with extreme weather this year, most recently with historic flooding in August that destroyed some 60,000 homes. (CNS photo/Dan Anderson, EPA)

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BATON ROUGE, La. (CNS) -- The line of destruction caused by historic flooding in southern Louisiana stretches for 25 miles, and according to Red Cross officials, it is the worst natural disaster in the United States since Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

"As we all know the severe flooding in many areas of our diocese has dramatically affected the well-being and livelihood of countless people," said Baton Rouge Bishop Robert W. Muench in a videotaped message posted to the diocese's website, www.diobr.org.

"To those so impacted I express genuine empathy, heartfelt solidarity and commitment to help as best as we can," he said, adding his thanks "to those who have so impressively and sacrificially reached out to serve." He called the "outpouring of concern" extraordinary in "our area and beyond." On Aug. 14, Bishop Muench visited three evacuation shelters to comfort evacuees.


In his video message, the bishop directed those who want to donate money or goods to go to the diocesan website. He said the site has information on how to donate and a list of stores run by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul that are taking donations of canned goods, clothes, cleaning supplies and even furniture for those who have lost everything.

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