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article imageTropical Storm Lee to bring heavy rains, flooding to Gulf coast

By Kim I. Hartman     Sep 2, 2011 in Environment
New Orleans - Tropical storm warnings have been issued from Alabama to Lousiana, including the New Orleans area, with heavy flooding expected from Tropical Storm Lee. Lee is predicted to dump up to 20 inches of rain over the region throughout the Labor Day weekend.
A tropical depression that has been churning in the Gulf of Mexico for days and has intensified and became the 12th named storm of the season.
Tropical Storm Lee has the potential to become a hurricane when it makes landfall in the New Orleans area Saturday morning, according to the National Weather Service.
Lee is moving 2 mph, heading north-west, with winds of 40 mph and is expected to strengthen to 65 mph by the time it hits Louisiana. Meteorologist's, who are calling the slow moving storm a 'super-soaker', are warning residents of the potential for flash-flooding from the torrential rains that are predicted. Storm surge of up to 5 feet is expected in low-lying coastal areas.
In Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said, "We’re closely monitoring the weather in the Gulf and our agencies are on alert and stand ready to assist coastal parishes if the system strengthens. We know from experience that it’s best to prepare for the worst and hope for the best, and since we’re at the height of the hurricane season, now is a good time for Louisianians to make sure they have a game plan to protect themselves and their families if a major storm approaches our coast.”
Jindal issued a declaration of emergency today and said, "With this being a holiday weekend, we encourage everyone to pay attention to their local forecasts and public officials for further guidance, if necessary. We certainly don’t want anyone getting caught off guard."
Tropical Storm Lee is expected to move north-east after it makes landfall Saturday bringing heavy rains to the south and the mid-Atlantic states.
As hurricane season hits its mid-season peak, weather experts from the National Hurricane Center in Miami continue to monitor Hurricane Katia which has picked up speed and continues to be a potential threat to the East coast of the United States.
Hurricane Katia (KAH'-tee-yah) weakened on Thursday, then rebounded in strength by Friday morning. Meteorologist's say Katia could become a Category 2 hurricane over the next few days as she churns over the warm waters of the Atlantic.
Hurricane season ends November 30.
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