Update, 9:30 a.m. Sunday
Widespread flooding in Louisiana has stranded motorists for nearly a day on Interstate 12.
On Sunday morning, Louisiana State Police deployed its Air Support Unit to continue efforts to rescue "hundreds of cars" stranded along I-12 in eastern Livingston Parish, the agency said on its Facebook page around 8:50 a.m.
The Louisiana National Guard continued to make rescues overnight until rising water prevented access, State Police said. Boats were unable to reach the stranded motorists because of areas of dry land.
Alex Cobb of Baton Rouge says she has been stuck since around 11 a.m. Saturday morning.
Reached by telephone Sunday, she said she was on her way to a bridal shower she was supposed to be hosting on Saturday when flooding closed off the highway.
She said she had food from the bridal shower that she was able to eat and a produce truck about a ¼ mile up the road opened its doors and shared its stock with the stranded motorists.
Cobb said some of the people stranded on the highway were actually fleeing flooding in their homes when they got caught on the freeway.
The mood is surprisingly upbeat but she emphasized that people "want water."
--Staff and Associated Press reports
Update, 8 a.m. Sunday
Emergency crews worked through the night to rescue scores of Louisiana residents from homes and stranded cars as floodwaters continued to inundate large swaths of the Baton Rouge region.
Mike Steele of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness said Sunday morning that there was an overnight spike in flood rescues in eastern Baton Rouge. He said two nursing homes in that area were being evacuated.
Police also were rescuing people from dozens of cars that were stranded on Interstate 12, which was closed from Baton Rouge to Tangipahoa Parish.
Steele says the flooding that started Friday has damaged more than 1,000 homes in East Baton Rouge Parish, more than 1,000 homes in Livingston Parish and hundreds more in St. Helena and Tangipahoa parishes.
At least three deaths have been blamed on the flooding.
Update, 8:44 p.m. Saturday
The Louisiana State Police is using high-water vehicles to assist the Louisiana National Guard in delivering supplies and evacuating stranded motorists on Interstate 12, according to the LSP's Facebook page.
The LSP is estimating that along the four-mile stretch of I-12 that is closed, approximately 125 drivers are stranded. Drivers are blocked by high water on both sides of the highway.
Elsewhere, both I-10 eastbound and westbound have opened in the Baton Rouge area.
Update, 7:55 p.m. Saturday
I-10 westbound is now open, according to the Louisiana State Police's Twitter feed. Officers are efforting to open eastbound lanes as quickly and safely as possible.
I-10 westbound in the Baton Rouge area is now open. Troopers are working to open the eastbound lanes as quickly and as safely as possible.— LA State Police (@LAStatePolice) August 14, 2016
Update, 7:20 p.m. Saturday
Trooper 1st Class Bryan Lee, a State Police spokesman, said shortly before 7 p.m. Saturday that Interstate 12 remains closed between Airline Highway in Baton Rouge to Interstate 55 near Hammond. He could not say when it would reopen.
"That all depends on the weather," he said.
Lee also wasn't certain how many motorists were stranded on the interstate. Troopers and others are working to get people off the road, working from the Denham Springs area and gradually toward Holden.
"We're in the process of getting people off the bridge" over the Amite River in Denham Springs, he said. "We're using high water vehicles. We have help from the National Guard and citizens."
"Most of the people that are near Denham Springs, they have been moved already," he added.
Lee said his agency is in touch with GOHSEP and the National Guard to get water and other supplies to motorists.
Update, 6:40 p.m. Saturday
Philip Crochet said around 6 p.m. that he'd been on Interstate 12 for about seven hours and stuck near the Holden exit for at least two hours. A St. Francisville resident, he and his wife were concerned about a boat he keeps in Mandeville and left earlier Saturday to go check on how it's held up in recent stormy weather.
He said he "never imagined that Interstate 12 would be in this condition."
Crochet said he had only about a quarter tank of gas left. He hasn't been about to get off the interstate to gas up because exit ramps are flooded, he said.
Word has been spreading up and down the interstate that anyone stranded between Walker and Holden may have to spend the night there, and "that's not going to be nice," Crochet said.
"Nothing we can do about it, we just have to hunker down is all," he added. "It's deadlock."
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Update, 2:13 p.m. Saturday
I-10 East remains closed to traffic at Bluebonnet Boulevard. I-10 West remains closed at Highland Road.
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I-12 East is closed in both directions from Airline Highway in East Baton Rouge Parish to La. 1077 in St. Tammany Parish due to high water.
I-12 West is closed at I-55; traffic is being diverted to I-10. I-12 West is also closed at the Amite River.
Alternate routes for I-12 closures:
• I-12 westbound should take I-59 or I-55 north to I-20
• I-12 eastbound should take US 61 south I-10 east
• If possible travelers should take I-20 to travel through Louisiana.
I-55 is open in both directions.
Update, 8:58 p.m. Friday
Interstate 10 westbound is now closed at Highland Road because of water on the roadway, according to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development's Baton Rouge traffic Twitter feed.
I-10 West is now closed at Highland Rd due to water on the roadway. Traffic is being diverted at Highland Rd. US 61 North alternate route.— Baton Rouge Traffic (@BR_Traffic) August 13, 2016
All lanes of Interstate 10 -- both eastbound and westbound -- are closed both past and before the Siegen Lane exit because of standing water, according to the Louisiana Department of Transportation.
Traffic is passing through on the left shoulder (eastbound) and the right shoulder (westbound).
DOTD also reports I-10 East is closed at Bluebonnet Boulevard, and traffic is being diverted at Bluebonnet.
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