Tropical Storm Lee Brings Flooding, Power Outages to La., Miss.

BY News Desk  September 4, 2011 at 8:41 AM EDT


7:15 p.m. ET | Several Louisiana parishes and counties in Mississippi have reported flooding from Tropical Storm Lee, though the damage in New Orleans has thus far been less than feared, with levees holding after more than 12 inches of rain.

Much like Hurricane Irene in the Northeast last weekend, Tropical Storm Lee could bring more flooding as it churns toward the Tennessee Valley. 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 – so that’s very similar to some of the stuff we saw in Vermont.”

A resident wades through a flooded street following heavy rains from Tropical Storm Lee on Sept. 3, 2011. Photo by Cheryl Gerber/Getty Images.

9 a.m. ET | Tropical Storm Lee brought heavy rain to southern Louisiana early Sunday, dropping 6 to 10 inches of rain in some places and threatening low-lying areas. Thousands of residents in Louisiana and Mississippi were without power.

More heavy rain is expected as Tropical Storm Lee moves along the Gulf Coast. As of Sunday it had maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour and was moving at a rate of only 2 miles per hour, meaning the slow storm could bring rain as far north as the Tennessee Valley Monday evening.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said that there are “severe weather warnings and tornado warnings in effect for parts of the state, and residents everywhere need to use extreme caution.”

The National Hurricane Center has warned of possible tornadoes in Louisiana, Mississippi Alabama and parts of the Florida panhandle.

Coastal areas that would normally receive an influx of Labor Day visitors were cleared out, leaving businesses that rely on tourists without visitors on what would be one of the busiest weekends of the summer.

Another storm, Katia, which has been churning over the Atlantic, regained Hurricane status Sunday morning. The storm is not expected to make landfall for several more days.