Although tropical storm Lee is no Irene, Gulf Coast residents remain wary of their first major test since Katrina caused such devastation six years ago. Officials predict extensive flooding.
“We’re not out of the woods,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu warned Saturday. “Don't go to sleep on this storm.”
According to the National Hurricane Center’s Sunday morning report, Lee was located over Vermilion Bay, La., about 125 miles west-southwest of New Orleans and drifting northeast at 3 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour.
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The storm is expected to move slowly over southern Louisiana today and tonight, producing total rain accumulations of 10-15 inches from the central Gulf Coast northward into the Tennessee Valley with possible isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches through Monday night.
“These rains are expected to cause extensive flooding and flash flooding,” the National Hurricane Center reported Sunday morning. Depending on the rainfall, Lee’s slow pace could increase the risk of flooding in some areas.
Closer to the Gulf, the water is "just going to sit there a couple of days," National Hurricane Center specialist Robbie Berg told the Associated Press. "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."