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Louisiana’s governor pleads for donations as flood cleanup begins

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Paul Labatut carried some of his furniture to higher ground Sunday through floodwaters outside his home in St. Amant, La.REUTERS

BATON ROUGE, La. — Weary residents in southern Louisiana were soaked by more heavy rains Sunday as they attempted to clean out their flood-ravaged homes.

Parts of Baton Rouge received 2 to 3 inches of rain, with the National Weather Service issuing a flash flood warning.

Chuck Craft said he and his wife, Karen, lost their home but they've been able to salvage some irreplaceable items such as photos of their four children and 16 grandchildren. He said their family is safe, and that's the most important thing.

''My story is no different than anybody's down the road,'' Craft said. ''Everybody's life is out on the curb to be picked up by garbage.''

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Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said Sunday that people around the country are just starting to pay attention to the extent of flooding that killed at least 13 people in Louisiana. He told CNN's ''State of the Nation'' that the disaster has received less attention because it wasn't a hurricane or named storm.

''Typically, by this point in a storm, I think Red Cross would be receiving a lot more donations,'' Edwards said. ''I think there would be more volunteers signing up. Although we have some of that in place now, it would be very helpful if people would donate to the Red Cross, to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, and also to come in and volunteer to help people get back in their homes as quickly as possible.''

State officials said $30 million in federal housing assistance has been approved for residents. About 3,200 people remain in shelters.

Louisiana officials also set up a temporary bus system to help people in and around Baton Rouge whose vehicles were damaged by flooding.