12 people were evacuated from a tiny island when storm surge from Tropical Storm Barry flooded the only road off the island

A view of Isle de Jean Charles in Louisiana in November 2017.

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A view of Isle de Jean Charles in Louisiana in November 2017.
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Nicky Milne/Reuters

  • 12 people were rescued from the tiny Isle de Jean Charles early Saturday morning due to flooding from Tropical Storm Barry.
  • The island’s residents will soon be permanently relocated by state and federal agencies, since rising sea levels are washing the 2-mile-long island away.
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A dozen residents of a tiny island near the coast of southeastern Louisiana had to be rescued early Saturday morning, when storm surge from Tropical Storm Barry flooded the only road onto the island and threatened to overtake their homes.

KATC reports that the Coast Guard received a report of distress from the Isle de Jean Charles around 4:30 a.m.

A helicopter was sent to the island, where it picked up four elderly residents and a cat, according to NOLA.com and WWL.

Another eight residents were rescued by a Coast Guard boat.

Read more: Tropical Storm Barry is nearing hurricane force as it approaches Louisiana coast, with landfall expected imminently

The island’s residents were being taken to Houma-Terrebonne Airport to be evaluated for injuries, WDSU reports.

The island was under voluntary evacuation ahead of Tropical Storm Barry, but fallen trees and rising waters due to storm surge cut off the only road off the island.

According to WGNO, the island used to be 12 miles long and 5 miles wide, but rising sea levels have been washing it away. It’s now just 2 miles long and a quarter-mile wide. Fewer than two dozen residents remain, most of whom are members of the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Tribe, but they will soon be permanently relocated by state and federal agencies.