Lee Becomes Tropical Storm as Gulf Coast Braces

Mississippi joins Louisiana in declaring an emergency in some areas
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2011 4:13 PM CDT
This NOAA satellite image taken Friday at 1:45 p.m. EDT shows Tropical Storm Lee producing thick clouds over the central Gulf of Mexico.   (AP Photo/Weather Underground)

(Newser) – Lee has intensified as expected into a tropical storm and is expected to drench Louisiana and Mississippi over the weekend. Both states have declared states of emergency near the coast, with Lee expected to make landfall in the next 48 hours with 65mph winds, reports CNN. The real hazard is expected to be the accompanying rain, however, with some areas expecting up to 20 inches.

"What we do know is there's high wind, there is a lot of rain and it's going slow," said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. "That's not a good prescription for the city of New Orleans should it come this way." The city is expecting about 10 inches of rain over the next few days.

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