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Tropical storm Lee threatens flooding in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi

Tropical Storm Lee now has winds approaching 60 miles per hour. Louisiana has heavy rain, and authorities warn of flooding in Alabama and Mississippi as well. States of emergency have been declared.

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Brian Stanford walks his dog on the beach in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, as Tropical Storm Lee slowly makes landfall Saturday. Slow-moving Lee strengthened as it lumbered toward the Louisiana coast, bringing torrential rains that will put the flood defenses of low-lying New Orleans to the test.

Dan Anderson/Reuters

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A tropical storm moving toward the Gulf Coast is predicated to bring massive flooding to Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi this weekend, particularly in New Orleans where up to 20 inches of rain is expected.

Tropical Storm Lee will hit southwest Louisiana by Saturday afternoon. The storm is moving southwest of the Mississippi River with maximum sustained winds approaching 60 miles per hour. Flash flood warnings are in effect, covering Mississippi to Texas. A tropical storm warning is also in effect along the coast, stretching from the Alabama-Florida border to the Sabine Pass in Texas.

Lee will move southeast across Louisiana Saturday into Monday, according to the National Weather Service. On Friday, both Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu declared states of emergency for ten parishes in the state and New Orleans respectively.

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