As heavy rains continued to pound 11 parishes in central Louisiana, the state National Guard mobilized Aug. 12 to assist victims who lost their homes or have been stranded. The Louisiana Guard initially called 1,700 members to active duty, with the number expected to reach as high as 2,000 or 2,500 before the mission is complete. Some of the call-ups could include military police, to relieve state and local law-enforcement authorities. In the meantime, Guard helicopter crews have been dropping food and water to persons stranded along interstate highways. Operators of boats and high-water vehicles have joined search-and-rescue efforts. As of Aug. 16, the Guard distributed more than 600,000 sandbags, 96,000 bottles of water, and 2,300 meals.
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