Videos and photos from the Lake Charles area showed the damage of a flash-flood "emergency" after thunderstorms swept the region, according to the National Weather Service.
WVUE, the Fox-affiliated TV station in New Orleans, reported that the emergency was issued until 4:45 p.m.
More than seven inches of rain was reported by noon just north of Lake Charles.
The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office (CPSO)urged residents not to drive, noting "roadways and conditions are deteriorating and changing quickly."
"CPSO has deployed high water vehicles and boats on both sides of the parish and are we prepared to handle any flood related call we receive," Sheriff Tony Mancuso said. "We are urging all residents to be vigilant and keep an eye on the evolving weather situation. We are also urging residents to stay put and DO NOT travel on the roadways; driving on the roadways at this time is putting yourself in danger, along with causing damage to other residents’ property from the rising water."
Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards wrote on Facebook that he was monitoring the situation: "The flash flooding throughout Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana is dangerous and potentially life threatening. The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is in contact with local leaders about their needs. Please join me in praying for the families in Lake Charles who have seen so much loss already. #lagov"