Airbnb announced late Monday that it is offering accommodation for those displaced in the deadly flooding in Louisiana that has so far claimed at least seven lives. Heavy rainfall Friday resulted in the flooding, which has damaged thousands of homes.
AirBnB said in a release it has activated its disaster response tool and is encouraging hosts to aid displaced residents with housing. The federal government declared a major disaster in Louisiana Sunday after torrential rain inundated the state.
“The website states all service fees are being waived for those affected by the disaster who check-in between Aug. 14 and Sept. 4, 2016. The site also has a section for people wanting to offer a space for free,” AirBnB said.
Gov. John Bel Edwards reportedly said officials "won't know the death toll for sure for several more days."
Edwards said Sunday that more than 20,000 people had been rescued by all participating agencies and volunteers since the flooding began.
"This is a serious event," Edwards said, adding that 10,000 people were in shelters. "It is ongoing. It is not over."
Edwards also had to be evacuated after water-logging in the basement of the governor's mansion, cutting off electricity and forcing him and his family to seek shelter elsewhere.
"This is going to be tough to recover from," said Ari Sarsalari, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel. "There are parts of Louisiana that have seen more than 30 inches of rain since Friday."