Following a night on the interstate, residents allowed to head home

Following a night on the interstate, residents allowed to head home

HOLDEN, LA (WLOX) - As historic flooding rolls through South Louisiana, homes are being evacuated and roads are being shut down.

More than 1,000 people and 100 pets have been rescued, but they aren't the only ones affected by the storm. Rising flood water is also becoming an issue for drivers traveling through the area.

After being stranded on the interstate for more than 10 hours, drivers for forced to spend the night.

Biloxi resident William Strayham and his wife were headed home from Texas on Aug. 13 when they were told by state police they could not continue their journey on I-12.

"Came upon it about 8:30 this morning. State police said they had no options. I asked if there was any way to get out, and even tried to get back on I-12 headed west. Got to the next exit down, headed toward the river, and it was closed," said Strayham.

Strayham says at least 1,000 cars and 18-wheelers lined up for miles on the eastbound lane. Stranded on top of an overpass on Hwy. 43, just before it intersects with I-12, the Strayhams are left to fend for themselves.

There is a gas station in the area, but owners have reportedly shut down the store. Strayham's wife adds that two additional stores and a McDonald's were open until around 10 a.m., but also had to close because of the large crowd.

Although the couple knows they can purchase gas, they don't know when they'll be able to use it to get home.

"No idea if it will be tomorrow morning, evening, or even the next day," added Strayham.

Strayham sent the following email to WLOX News Now 10:17 p.m. Saturday night:

"As I sit here and evaluate this situation I can't help but believe this is not going to be a very good situation come morning time. Thousands of people with limited food and water and no restroom facilities. Not to sound dramatic But I really don't think the emergency people understand the magnitude of what it's going on in this one little area and what it's going be like when the sun comes up and still stranded.  Especially the elderly and the [sic] children. There will have to be basics (water, snacks) available especially if this goes on beyond tomorrow. Any thing you can do to help communicate that would be appreciated. This could turn into a Katrina Superdome event."

Shortly before 3 p.m. on Aug. 14, Strayham told WLOX they were being allowed to leave via Hwy 43 to I-90.

For a list of Louisiana shelter locations, and phone numbers for emergency rescue needs, click here.

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