Lee Downgraded to Tropical Depression, 2 Die in Texas Fire

BY News Desk  September 5, 2011 at 9:45 AM EST


A man paddles a canoe through flood waters in Lafitte, La. Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images.

After sweeping through Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama Sunday morning, causing flooding in low-lying areas and leaving thousands without power, a weakened storm is continuing to move north through the Tennessee Valley, bringing more heavy rain and potential flooding for those in its path. Several tornadoes were reported.

Despite the storm weakening as it heads inland, forecasters have warned that the potential for flooding could be even worse, much as it was for Vermont after Hurricane Irene. According to the Associated Press,

National Hurricane Center specialist Robbie Berg said Lee’s flash flood threat could be more severe as the rain moves from the flatter Gulf region into the rugged Appalachians.

Closer to the Gulf, the water is “just going to sit there a couple of days,” he said. “Up in the Appalachians you get more threat of flash floods.”

The storm could bring 20 inches of rain in some areas Monday. Winds were reported at 35 miles per hour. Lee is being blamed for hastening the spread of wildfires in Texas, killing two people in Gladewater, where a woman and her 18-month old daughter were unable to escape their trailer before it was destroyed.