Photo: AP

On Tuesday, officials in Louisiana said that at least 11 people have died since widespread flooding hit the state in what the Red Cross has called “likely the worst natural disaster since Superstorm Sandy,” NBC News reports.

According to the Associated Press, the governor’s office says that 60,000 residents have applied for FEMA aid and 20 of the state’s 64 parishes are now included in the federal disaster zone. From The New York Times:

Gov. John Bel Edwards acknowledged that the state did not know how many people were missing, but he said that nearly 8,100 people had slept in shelters on Monday night and that some 40,000 homes had been “impacted to varying degrees.”

“We are still very much in an emergency, search-and-rescue response mode for much of the Florida parishes,” Mr. Edwards said, referring to an eight-parish area east of the Mississippi River. “Saving life is the most important priority that we have. We’re going to dedicate every available response to that effort until it’s no longer required.”

As floodwaters receded in Denham Springs, where approximately 90 percent of homes took on water, some residents returned on Tuesday to begin piecing their lives back together.

“I remember thinking how glad I was to not have to go through that,” one homeowner, recalling Hurricane Katrina, told the Louisiana Advocate. “And now this morning, I’m standing in line down at Immaculate Conception to get us something to eat.”