(CNN)-Floodwaters rushed into homes and stranded residents in parts of northwestern Louisiana on Wednesday as heavy rains pelted the Southeast.
At least two people have been killed in storms across the region, officials said. In Texas, a man was killed after his kayak capsized in Dickinson Bayou, police said. In Louisiana, a driver died when his vehicle was swept off the road in floodwaters in Bienville Parish, a spokesman for the state's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness said.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency in 16 parishes in the northern part of the state and the National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency for several parishes.
"We'll be out there in full force the rest of the evening and night, as long as it takes," Whittington said. "We encourage everyone to get prepared, and try and evacuate. ... You do need to move out."
The flooding, Whittington said, is a "dangerous situation."
"We've had folks who had to be rescued off rooftops, people rescued from cars, clinging to trees," sheriff's spokesman Bill Davis said.
The Sheriff's Office posted video showing rushing water, pickups stranded in floodwater and people piling sandbags to protect their homes. Floodwaters damaged some roads and made others impassable, officials said. Cathy Little of Shreveport, Louisiana, said she's seen flooding there before, but never like this. She posted videos of flooding in the area on Instagram. One showed a neighbor's home surrounded by water.