March 10 (Reuters) - A slow-moving storm is expected to dump more rain on the waterlogged U.S. South, forecasters said on Thursday, after heavy rains killed several people and prompted evacuations and rescues from inundated areas.
Three people died in northern Louisiana, deluged with some of the heaviest rainfall. Two men and a 6-year-old child were killed after either ignoring flood warnings or entering treacherous areas without signs, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals said.
Forecasters at the National Weather Service received reports of 10 to 15 inches of rain falling in northeastern Texas, parts of Arkansas and Louisiana over a day and a half.
Particularly hard hit was Monroe, Louisiana, with more than 17 inches, said Bob Oravec, lead forecaster with the the NWS Weather Prediction Center.
See images from the floods:
As the system moves east, flooding is a concern in areas of Mississippi, western Tennessee and Alabama, along with Louisiana, he said.
"It's going to continue to be a pretty high impact storm," Oravec said, noting that rains could linger into Saturday.
People in as many as 3,500 homes in Bossier City, Louisiana were told to evacuate, the Shreveport Times reported.
Louisiana National Guard soldiers and law enforcement helped to rescue people stranded in their homes and on roads by high waters, authorities said.
Louisiana's governor has declared a state of emergency in affected regions, and many schools were closed. State government offices in three dozen parishes were shuttered through Friday.
The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch stretching from the Gulf of Mexico coast of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi north into the southern parts of Illinois.
A 30-year-old man drowned on Tuesday as he tried to drive across a flooded area in southeastern Oklahoma, according to the National Weather Service.
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