Lee’s Remnants Trigger US Flooding, Tornadoes

Posted September 5th, 2011 at 8:45 pm (UTC-5)
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The slow-moving remnants of Tropical Storm Lee have dumped heavy rain across the southern United States and triggered tornadoes that damaged dozens of homes in Georgia. Heavy rains are in the forecast for Georgia in the coming hours.

The tropical storm made landfall near the city of New Orleans, Louisiana on Sunday, flooding streets and recalling the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina six years ago. Lee dumped more than 30 centimeters of rain on Louisiana and Mississippi.

Although Lee was later downgraded to a tropical depression, its massive size and the amount of moisture it contains is of major concern to inland areas that include the Appalachian mountains and Tennessee River Valley.

The storm forced the temporary suspension oil drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico, with workers evacuated from offshore platforms.

Separately, Hurricane Katia is swirling in the open Atlantic Ocean and heading northwest. The National Hurricane Center said in its latest bulletin that Katia was a Category 3 storm on the five-point scale of hurricane intensity, moving at 19 kilometers per hour. The storm has winds of 185 kilometers per hour. Forecasters say the biggest threat continues to be dangerous rip currents along the U.S. East Coast and Bermuda.

The month of September is considered the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, which has already seen 12 named storms. The hurricane season began June 1 and ends November 30.