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Tropical Storm Lee Floods Gulf Coast Cities

David McAlpine |
September 4, 2011 | 11:51 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

As Tropical Storm Lee moved onto the Gulf Coast Friday, many towns along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico received close to record rainfalls, dousing the streets in high waters and flooding. Cities from Alabama to Louisiana were affected by the heavy rains from the inland-moving system.

Water management systems in New Orleans seemed to be operating, but further inland in Mississippi and rural Louisiana, the threat of flooding was heightened.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Just miles from New Orleans, meanwhile, there was misery. Flooding was reported in a number of outlying parishes. Mississippi emergency management officials reported flooded roads and damaged homes across that state's three-county coastal region. And residents there and in Alabama reported spinoff tornadoes, according to the Associated Press.

Some of the most dramatic trouble came in southern Jefferson Parish, where about half of a cluster of fishing and oil and gas communities — Jean Lafitte, Crown Point and Barataria — were underwater, with 6 to 7 feet of water in some areas, said Timothy Kerner, mayor of Jean Lafitte.

Winds from Lee had pushed water from the Gulf of Mexico to inland waterways, including Bayou Barataria, which Kerner said was about 5 feet higher than normal Sunday.

"Oh my God, man," he said. "We're actually building little rock levees, sandbagging — so many doggone things we're trying to do."

But now the cities of the eastern seaboard are preparing themselves for the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee, now Tropical Depression Lee, after Hurricane Irene deluged several cities to the point of near destruction.

President Obama toured some of the destruction Sunday near Paterson, New Jersey.

The Boston Globe reported:

“The entire country is behind you,’’ Obama said after viewing the destruction. “We are going to make sure that we provide all the resources that’s necessary in order to help these communities rebuild.’’

He pledged to people all along the Atlantic Coast who were affected by Irene that he will not allow “Washington politics’’ to get in the way of bringing federal help. The White House told Congress late last week that there is a need for more than $5 billion in additional disaster relief money for a string of hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes across the county, not even counting the billions expected to be needed for Irene losses.

The Obama administration said that under the terms of last month’s budget deal, Congress can provide more than $11 billion in disaster aid next year without finding offsetting budget cuts.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

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