The Latest: High water in South affecting US rice crops

August 21st, 2016 1:49 pm

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Latest on Louisiana flooding (all times local):

11:45 a.m.

High water in Louisiana and Arkansas has put a damper on the nation's rice harvest.

While much of Louisiana's crop was in before record floods this month, Arkansas farmers had just started harvesting before rainy weather began last weekend.

So far, the biggest losers are farmers whose fields are inundated and may not be able to harvest. Those who do succeed will find slightly higher prices. But economists say that the weather isn't bad enough to push up consumer prices for food rice, or for beer and cereal that use rice as an ingredient.

Arkansas produces half the nation's rice, while Louisiana produces about 15 percent. Farmers fear that continued bad weather, or a Gulf Coast hurricane, could worsen problems before the rest of the crop is brought in.


9:30 a.m.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards says people around the U.S. are just starting to pay attention to the extent of flooding that killed at least 13 people in the state.

Edwards tells CNN's "State of the Nation" on Sunday that the disaster has received less attention because it wasn't a hurricane or named storm.

Edwards, a Democrat who took office this year, says he suggested to President Barack Obama and presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett that they delay a trip to Louisiana until the initial disaster response was over and recovery efforts had started.

Obama is traveling to Baton Rouge on Tuesday.


1:33 a.m.

With up to $150,000 in flood damages to his southeast Louisiana car repair shop and no flood insurance, Lap Nguyen (NWEN) wasn't sure how he was going to repair his life.

He's spent the past few days cleaning out Gonzales Car Care 20 miles southeast of Louisiana's capital, and hadn't thought about money.

Like thousands of other south Louisiana residents, he had to deal with the malodorous muck left after torrential downpours swamped drainage systems, including rivers and streams.

The floods killed at least 13 people but are slowly falling, giving way to the hard slog of cleaning out, rebuilding, or just finding somewhere to live.

The state government says an estimated 60,000 homes have been damaged and 102,000 people have registered for federal help.