Stranded drivers spend day 2 on flooded La. highway

Stranded drivers spend day 2 on flooded La. highway
Hundreds of motorists remain stranded on I-12 in Louisiana for the second day. (Photo source: Gator Inglis)

HOLDEN, LA (WLOX) - As the rain continues to batter Louisiana, bringing massive flooding around the state, hundreds of motorists continue to sit on the interstate with nowhere to go. For most, this is the second day they are stranded on I-12, having been stuck since yesterday.

Jackson County native Lauren Glenn now lives in Denham Springs with her family. When her home began to take on water Saturday morning, she quickly packed herself and her small children up to head back to Mississippi. Instead, she ended up on the side of the road overnight.

Now, more than 24 hours later, things have gotten more dire for Glenn. She says her and her three children do not have any food or water for themselves. Glenn is traveling with her fiance, her 10-year-old daughter, 9-year-old son, and 3-week-old infant.

According to one of Glenn's recent Facebook posts, the National Guard went down the eastbound side of the road passing out supplies last night to stranded motorists but never did make it to where she was on the westbound side. With dispatchers being bombarded by emergency calls, Glenn's multiple attempts at reaching someone for help have gone unnoticed.

In a Facebook message to WLOX, Glenn's mother Kelly Glenn of Jackson County said her daughter is upset and tired.

"The children are hungry. (Lauren) said a helicopter dropped some things off but by the time her fiance got to where it was dropped, there was nothing left," said Kelly Glenn. "Someone gave him a slice of watermelon but that's all. I hope they drop more soon."

While many are trying to reach Mississippi, some are just trying to get back to their homes in Louisiana. Brian Cazes also lives in Denham Springs. He visited friends on the Gulf Coast over the weekend and is frantically trying to get back home.

"I haven't been able to get in touch with my wife and girl for a few hours now," said Cazes in a message to WLOX. "It's intense. I can't lie. My little boy called me, worried about me, and I had to try to explain to him while I'm not even there that everything is going to be okay."

Cazes is making the journey back to Denham Springs on Sunday, fully expecting lengthy delays. He says he will be prepared, though, in case any other roads become flooded like I-12. Cazes is also taking whatever supplies he can get back to Louisiana with him for when he arrives home.

Truck driver Gator Inglis of Abita Springs, LA also took to Facebook to share his story, along with photos and videos.

Inglis said in a Facebook post that it was nearly 24 hours before he and those around him received anything to eat or drink. Despite being thirsty, Inglis said he gave his bottle of water to a little boy instead.

Louisiana State Police say various agencies are involved in rescue attempts on I-12 and tweeted photos showing the agency's Air Support Unit delivering supplies to stranded motorists. The units high-water vehicles delivered supplies to as many people as they could along I-12 before rising water prevented additional access, said the agency, adding that boats were unable to reach the motorists due to the sporadic areas of dry land.

Louisiana State Police say I-12 west of U.S. 190 between remains closed, however alternate routes include the Lake Pontchertrain Causeway to I-10 and Hwy. 25 north through Folsom and Franklinton into Mississippi. Interstate 55 in Hammond is also open.

And while all lanes on I-10 eastbound in Baton Rouge remain open, authorities say they are carefully monitoring the rising water, with closures a possibility.

Mississippi Department of Transportation says the flooding has also impacted some roads in the southwestern part of the Magnolia State. In Amite County, the westbound lane of Hwy. 24 just east of Hwy. 48 is closed. The northbound lane of Hwy. 569 from Berwich Castle Road to the Louisiana State Line is closed but the southbound lane remains open. In Pike County, Hwy. 575 between SR 48 and Osyka Progress Road is closed until further notice, as well.

MDOT crews are out in full force, say officials, reconstructing shoulders, temporarily rebuilding roadways, protecting and repairing damaged drainage structures, and inspecting roadways and drainage structures.

Most flood deaths occur at night when people become trapped in stalled areas, according to MDOT. To ensure safety during flooding conditions, authorities advise avoiding areas that are already flooded. If your vehicle stalls in water, abandon it immediately and seek higher grounds.

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