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Louisiana agents battling catastrophic flood

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Louisiana and Mississippi health insurance agents and brokers are using their social media skills to tell the rest of the world how badly their states have been hit by flooding, and to plead for help.

Some communities in the southern parts of those states were hit by as much as 25 inches of rain late last week. The flooding has killed six people. On Sunday, about 12,000 people were staying in emergency shelters, officials said.

Related: Historic Louisiana flooding leaves at least 6 dead; 20,000 rescued 

Workers at the Louisiana Department of Insurance mobilized today to explain how flood insurance claims work.

Trish Freeman of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and other producers have been using Twitter and Facebook to pass along emergency messages from carriers, such as a notice from Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana allowing early prescription refills for enrollees affected by the flooding and evacuation orders.

B. Ronnell Nolan, president of the Baton Rouge-based Health Agents for America, who held an annual meeting in New Orleans a little more than a week ago, said in an email interview today that two HAFA board members have water in their own homes.

“The water is still rising in some areas,” Nolan said.

The Red Cross has gotten in and declared the area a disaster, but some people are still stranded, the supply of food in grocery stores in the region is limited, Nolan said.

Bridgette Rushing Snead, a health insurance agent, has been part of a team of people using a boat to help rescue stranded people. She told Nolan that many people in her area, around Denham Springs, Louisiana, are in emergency shelters. The people in the shelters need cots, blankets, pillows, personal items, baby items, and dog and cat food, Nolan said.

Once the flood waters recede, she said, people will need help cleaning up, and putting their lives back together.

“The water came so fast, there was no time to get anything out,” Nolan said.


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