Up to two feet of rain have fallen in Louisiana and three people have died, as historic flood event swamps parts of the South and Gulf Coast states.

The extreme rains have been sourced by a narrow, intense plume of moisture, known as an atmospheric river, originating from Mexico.  Some are also calling it a “Mayan Express.”

The floodwaters have inundated hundreds of homes, washed out roads and bridges, forcing over a dozen water rescues involving more than 200 people, according to Weather.com.

“The Sabine River on the border between Louisiana and Texas reached its highest water level on record Friday morning, smashing the previous record set in February 1999 by over five feet,” reported USA Today’s Doyle Rice. “Records go back to the 1800s.”

Many other major rivers in Louisiana were near or approaching major to record flood levels.

Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency for the entire state of Louisiana due to the extreme rains, which began Tuesday and won’t wind down until late Saturday or early Sunday.

Some areas may see another three to six inches of rainfall on top of what has already fallen.

An exceptionally intense upper level pressure system that developed over Mexico and brought a freak snow event to its high elevations Wednesday and Thursday, has acted like a pump, funneling a plume of tropical moisture towards the Gulf Coast states.

“The record atmospheric moisture this week has led to rainfall amounts one would expect to occur only once every 200 years (a 0.5% chance of occurrence in a given year) over portions of northern Louisiana,” writes Weather Underground’s Jeff Masters.

Mashable’s Andrew Freedman notes the expected return interval for so much rain in the Monroe, Louisiana, where almost two feet of rain has fallen, is about 1,000 years.

Below are some photos of the flooding from Louisiana…