Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards issued a state of emergency Friday as soaking rains fell on the state, forcing thousands out of their homes.
Parts of central Louisiana have seen more than 10 inches of rain in the last two days, as heavy rains continue to fall Friday evening in areas around Baton Rouge and Lafayette.
In a 24-hour span from Thursday evening through Friday afternoon, Baton Rouge picked up more than 11 inches of rain. In Denham Springs, La., more than 20 inches of rain have fallen since Wednesday night.
On Friday night, the Comite River near Baton Rouge was at 29.3 feet, 9.3 feet above flood stage. The river is expected to crest at 34.5 feet on Saturday. The Amite River was 3.5 feet above the flood stage of 29 feet. The Amite River at Denham Springs is expected to crest Sunday at 44.5 feet, more than 3 feet above record levels.
The Tickfaw River is also expected to crest well above record levels over the weekend.
More than a dozen shelters opened Friday for those needing to take refuge from the storm.
As of Friday evening, the Louisiana National Guard had performed more than 50 rescues. The National Guard has 39 high-water vehicles and five boats in its search and rescue mission.
While some are fleeing the rising water, some are jumping in for a dip.
Flooding rains are expected to fall over the weekend in the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys. The National Weather Service has issued Flash Flood Watches from Missouri to Ohio.