Governor suspends deadlines in legal cases

Published 9:32 am Wednesday, August 17, 2016

GONZALES, La. — The Latest on flooding in the Deep South (all times local):

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has taken a step to make sure widespread flooding in Louisiana doesn’t cause problems in pending legal proceedings.

State Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Johnson said in a Tuesday news release that Edwards has issued an executive order imposing an emergency suspension of all deadlines for legal proceedings in state courts, administrative agencies and boards.

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The order is effective retroactively to last Friday and lasts until Sept. 9.

The Red Cross says more than 1,000 disaster volunteers have been mobilized from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to help with the Louisiana flood relief efforts.

Brad Kieserman, vice president, Disaster Services Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross, said in a news release the massive relief operation will cost at least $30 million.

Kieserman says the flooding in Louisiana is the worst natural disaster to strike the United States since Superstorm Sandy.

He said the Red Cross is also seeking additional volunteers to assist in Louisiana.

The heartbreaking task of sorting through waterlogged belongings and ripping out carpets and drywall is kicking into high gear in flood-wracked southern Louisiana.

Residents will continue going back to their homes Wednesday, assessing damage and getting to work on repairs, in areas where the waters have receded enough.

Downstream many are eyeing swollen rivers to see whether more damage is coming.

Hundreds of people evacuated to a shelter in Ascension Parish as the river water that hit areas around Baton Rouge worked its way south.

The state also faces a long-term challenge of how to house the thousands of displaced people and how to pay for the damage the water left behind.