RALEIGH (WTVD) --About 40,000 homes in southeastern Louisiana have been affected by days of devastating flooding, which Gov. John Bel Edwards described Tuesday as "unprecedented" and "historic."
At least eight people have died, he said, adding that authorities remain in emergency search mode in many parishes.
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Edwards said that over 20,000 people have been rescued and about 8,000 were in shelters Monday night.
President Obama declared a federal emergency in the state on Sunday.
Raleigh resident Brad Grantham still can't believe the images posted online by his friends of his hometown under water.
"The more they post on social media the more my heart hurts. I mean, these are friends I've grown up with, family members, friends of friends," he said.
Grantham recently moved back to Raleigh and was supposed to close on his house near Baton Rouge. He learned Monday night his home is still safe from rising floodwater.
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"In my history growing up in Baton Rouge, there has never been anything like this. This is Baton Rouge's Katrina," said Grantham.
Local volunteers in North Carolina are already there helping victims and more are preparing to dispatch to the flood zone.
Andrew Ladner, Exec. Dir. of the US Veterans Corps, plans to haul as much food as he can when he leaves Friday for Louisiana.
His daughter, a veteran and firefighter, is already there helping displaced residents.
"She went down there to help rescue people from our own family, and she keeps getting pulled because she's an EMT. So she went from boat rescues yesterday to a shelter last night," said Ladner.
In 24 hours, 21 inches of rain fell in Livingston Parish, just under the 24-hour state record of 22 inches, set in 1962.
Ladner's hometown is also underwater.
"Literally, when I look on Facebook right now, it's more than 90 percent of people that I grew up with, went to church with, worked with. They have all lost everything," he said.
The US Veterans Corps is working quickly to gather items like toiletries and toys, anything to bring comfort to those devastated by the floodwaters.
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"There is no electricity and there is no running water," said Ladner. "It's like living in a third world country, and these people need help desperately."