Tropical Storm Lee causes flooding in New Orleans

The latest severe storm to cause problems for the eastern United States is dumping torrential rains on the Gulf coast states of Louisiana and Mississippi.

Tropical Storm Lee made landfall near the city of New Orleans Sunday, flooding the streets and recalling the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina six years ago.

The Louisiana city is under flash flood warnings while elsewhere, evacuation orders have been issued for low-lying areas.

Before coming ashore, the slow-moving storm had been pounding other Gulf of Mexico communities with heavy rains.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Lee could dump up to 50 centimeters (nearly 20 inches) of rain over several states as it moves north into the Tennessee Valley.

It has been just one week since Hurricane Irene caused devastation along the U.S. east coast, killing more than 40 people and causing billions of dollars in damage in states stretching from North Carolina to Vermont.

U.S. President Barack Obama got a firsthand look at some of the damage Sunday. He traveled to hard-hit New Jersey, touring the state’s third largest city, Paterson, which was inundated by Irene’s torrential rains.

He pledged to people affected by Irene that he won’t allow Washington politics to get in the way of bringing them federal help.

Another storm, Katia, is out in the open Atlantic Ocean and heading northwest but is not currently a threat to any land area.

The month of September is considered the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, which has already seen 12 named storms.

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