Tropical Storm Katia
September 3, 2011 by staff
Tropical Storm Katia, Heavy rains from Tropical Storm Lee was falling in southern Louisiana and throwing the Gulf Coast on Saturday as the storm center moved slowly toward the ground, where companies were already beginning to suffer from what would normally be an end busy week. The storm is expected to drop 10 to 15 inches of rain in southern Louisiana.
No injuries or deaths had been reported early Saturday afternoon, but power was knocked out at least 35,000 people and officials were cautiously watching the levees and water pumps in the lowland region.
Tropical storm warning flags were flying from Alabama to Texas and flash flood warnings stretched along the Alabama coast in the Panhandle of Florida. The slow-moving storm forward means that the clouds of rain would have more time to throw in any city in their path.
The National Hurricane center said Lee was about 45 miles (72 km) southwest of Morgan City to the north at 6 mph (9 kph) with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (97 kph).
Forecasters expected the storm to fluctuate in intensity during the day, but are not expected to reach hurricane strength. Its increase was set at 4 feet above normal sea level in Shell Beach, and 2 feet east to Pascagoula, Mississippi
Lee has confounded forecasters, as it began to develop in midweek and got another surprise during the night on Friday to emerge from a virtual cckpit and northward to the central Louisiana coast.
In New Orleans, sporadic rains caused flooding in some low areas streets early Saturday, but the bombs were absorbing water and sending it into Lake Pontchartrain. Increase in Lee so far had not penetrated the levees along the coast, said National Weather Service meteorologist Robert Ricks in Slidell, Louisiana
Tornado warnings issued overnight in south Louisiana and Mississippi, but Ricks said there were no confirmed touchdowns. So far, damage appeared limited to downed power lines and trees.
However, Lee warned of the impact still being felt.
“In a storm like this, tornadoes can flash up a few seconds or one minute and gone. Expect more comments on Saturday,” said Ricks.
Ricks, Lee said, had probably reached its peak and was unlikely to become a hurricane as it pushes ashore.
Lee was previously appeared on track to pass directly through the New Orleans area, but their movement during the night caused forecasters projected to change course towards the west. Heavy rains could hit the area of?? Baton Rouge and New Orleans for the next 36 hours.
Entergy, a major tool in the region reported more than 35,000 customers without power, mainly in the area of?? New Orleans and the coast. There were scattered power outages inland to the central Louisiana and Mississippi.
Lee was the first storm to make landfall in Louisiana since Hurricane Gustav, which struck on Labor Day in 2008.
Gustav provide an important test of the rebuilt levees protecting New Orleans, where billions of federal dollars were spent after the levees failed during Hurricane Katrina, flooding 80 percent of the city.
On Saturday, the levees were holding, despite the sandbags that had been done in some places as a precaution.
Gusts of wind swept through the city center, but the bridges, including the 24 km long Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, was opened to traffic.
In coastal Mississippi, Hancck County emergency management director Brian Adams said early Saturday the rains of the storm “has passed through gusts … at a time, less in others.”
Adams said that the streets in the lower areas of the province are under voluntary evacuation.
“We have a lot of flooding the streets … there is nothing in the house yet.”
Although local authorities urged residents to prepare for the worst, Lee appeared to be a nuisance holiday weekend for many people. Some did not expect tropical storm up to the legacy of murderers as hurricanes Betsy, Camille and Katrina.
“It’s a lot of rain. It’s nothing, nothing to Katrina,” said James Malcolm, 59, a federal investigator in New Orleans who lost their home after the levees broke during Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 had to be transported by helicopter.
The storm was washing the holiday weekend of Labor Day, with cancellations of parades and other events in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, Alabama, Louisiana, the program was canceled in state parks and historic sites in the southern part of the state.
Strong waves rolled ashore on Saturday in an empty beach at Gulf Shores usually filled with tourists on Labor Day. Several people parked in cars pictures and videos shot with their phones. The wind was blowing palm trees, but the rain was moderate.
Wind and rain fell significantly to a couple of miles inland. Some restaurants and other businesses still had a steady stream of cars coming in.
Traders worried that the storm dampens the festival of the decline of the South; an annual cash gay lifestyle is recorded in the rings of the weekend of Labor Day in the French Quarter. Ann Sonnier, shift manager bar Jester said that revenues have been disappointing so far.
“People are probably scared to death to come here after Katrina,” he said.
Event organizers said southern decadence to go on, although many moved into the interior.
Lee comes less than a week after Hurricane Irene killed over 40 people from North Carolina to Maine and knocked out electricity to millions of people. It was too early to say whether the hurricane Katia in the Atlantic, could threaten the U.S.
Greater impact of the storm so far has been in the Gulf of Mexico oil fields. Approximately half the normal daily oil production in the Gulf has been reduced as the platforms were evacuated, while oil prices fell sharply on Friday sour economic news.
Federal authorities said that 169 of the 617 integrated production platforms have been evacuated, along with 16 of the 62 drilling rigs. That is to reduce daily production by 666,000 barrels of oil and 1.7 trillion cubic feet of gas.
The governors of Louisiana and Mississippi and the mayor of New Orleans, declared states of emergency. Officials from several Louisiana and Mississippi coastal communities asked for voluntary evacuations.
The Army Corps of Engineers closed a few doors along the canals, but had not moved to close a structure of great flood in the river Mississippi and the Gulf of output delivery.
The MRGO was a major conduit for the Katrina storm surge that overwhelmed levees and flooded St. Bernard and the 9th Ward City of Deputies.
Hurricane Katrina well below the feet of 20-more drives Lee Increased storm, projected at around 4 to 5 feet. Billions of federal dollars have been spent on new dams and other flood protection. City officials said they were prepared to deal with flooding in the streets.
The flooded Lee was tantalizingly close to Texas, but is expected to attenuate for relief from the worst drought in the state since the 1950′s as the storm track changed this outcome. Forecasters said it could bring heavy rains of Mississippi and Alabama next week.
The rain, however, had a silver lining. In New Orleans, who was helping to quell a stubborn fire marsh for several days have sent acrid smoke drifted across the area?
Southern Louisiana needs the rain – not only that much, so fast.
“Sometimes you get what you ask,” said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “Unfortunately we seem to get more than we needed.”
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