NEW ORLEANS – On Sunday Tropical Storm Lee swept the coasts of Louisiana, dumping torrential rain that could cause flooding in the coming days, including New Orleans. Jean Lafitte is a town in the bayou, residents have been evacuated. Tornadoes, apparently related to the storm, have also been reported in Mississippi and Alabama, but it was no immediate reports of casualties or major damage.
According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the storm was accompanied at 15h GMT maximum wind speed of 75km / h. On the coast of Louisiana and Mississippi, 150 to 250mm of rain has already fallen. And the storm could dump up to 500mm of rain in some areas.
Sunday night, Lee moves very slowly north-east, 5 km / h and should take the direction east / northeast. All regions bordering the Gulf of Mexico will receive heavy rainfall, according to the NHC. Bulletins vigilance in anticipation of possible tornadoes was also issued for several counties in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.
In Louisiana, some homes and businesses have already suffered some damage due to precipitation. Certain streets located in the lower parts of New Orleans were partly flooded on Saturday, but for now, the water was sucked up by a pumping system and discharged into Lake Pontchartrain.
The authorities have also stressed the important role of the levees in this city still recovering from the devastating passage of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Mayor Mitch Landrieu, asked residents to remain vigilant. “We’re not out of the woods,” he warned.
Jean Lafitte is a town in the bayou where the authorities have carried out evacuations, a resident, Brad Zinet, hoped that his house on stilts would not be flooded. “We have nowhere to go. We do everything away and hope that everything will be for the better,” he told the plumber of 31 years.
Alabama beaches usually very popular at this time of late summer were almost deserted, affecting local businesses. In Mississippi, casinos along the coast remained open and business seemed to work properly.
On Saturday the first weather caused power outages and knocked out power to thousands of people in southern Louisiana and Mississippi, and led to evacuations in the bayous. A federal agency says 237 oil and gas production platforms and 23 drilling rigs have now been evacuated in the Gulf of Mexico.