Instead of spending her birthday celebrating with cake, Ashyrinona Noel turned 9 years old escaping flood waters with her family.

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In Central, hundreds await rescue in floods; on Hooper Road flood waters climbing several feet deep

Peter, Rosco and Ashyrinona wait at a Texaco with their kittens after being rescued by fishing boats from their neighborhood in Central. 

At about 3 and half feet tall, the water that surged into her home in Central came up to her waist.

She and her family members rushed to put their belongings in suitcases and into garbage bags. Her brother Peter, 14, put their kittens Sassy and Snowflake into a kennel and they left their home to wait at a nearby church that also eventually saw flood waters late Saturday afternoon.

Central was one of the many areas that saw historically devastating flooding this weekend. About a half mile of Hooper Road and the surrounding neighborhood was submerged by several feet of water on Saturday, but that was one of only several areas where rescue missions were carried out.

Law enforcement officials and volunteers with boats showed up to help bring stranded residents to safety at the corner of Hooper Road and Mickens Road where they were carted off to shelters.

"We tried to wait out," said Ashyrinona's grandmother Anna, who said the family of six has lived there for about 6 years. "The gentleman a few houses down from us told us we were high and dry and safe, but all of sudden it just started rising and it didn't stop."

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In Central, hundreds await rescue in floods; on Hooper Road flood waters climbing several feet deep

Shannon Darrow and Cody Jarreau from Erwinville said they were just watching the news Saturday morning when they saw the flooding. So they took Darrow's fishing boat out to Central to volunteer.

"I haven't seen anything like this since Katrina," Jarreau said.

In total there were about four volunteer boats and four law enforcement boats gliding back and forth through the flooded areas rescuing trapped families. At at least one house on Hooper Road, the water almost reached the roof

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In Central, hundreds await rescue in floods; on Hooper Road flood waters climbing several feet deep

Water reaches near the roof of one home on Hooper Road.

Central Mayor Jr. Shelton said flood waters have touched just about every neighborhood in the rural city in the northern part of the parish, and hundreds of people are still waiting to be rescued.

"We have the National Guard in here and our fire department doing rescues," he said. "Our biggest problem is maneuvering to get to people's homes. We can't get to people's homes. It's a slow process. We're taking calls left and right."

The school system donated at least five buses to pick people up and bring them to shelters.

Shelton, who has lived in Central for 38 years, said he's never seen anything like the flooding from this weekend.

"This is a flood of epic proportions. This makes the flood of 1983 a mere distant memory," he said. "When we talk about floods now, we'll talk about the great flood of 2016. everything else pales in comparison.

Another issue is that residents were given a false sense of safety when the rain slowed down early Saturday afternoon.

"The river is still rising and folks who thought they were OK and in the clear are in trouble now," he said.

Shelton said there will be another curfew in place tonight from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Central High School opened as shelter at 1 p.m. Starkey Academy and Life Tabernacle Church are also serving as shelters in the area.

Zoar Baptist Church is also open but at capacity.

Bellingrath Hills, Tanglewood Subdivision, Central Woods, Jackson Place and Jackson Park are some of the hardest hit areas, Shelton said.

"I'm going to be honest, and this is not to sound sensational," he said. "Every neighborhood is touched by this." 

Follow Rebekah Allen on Twitter, @rebekahallen.