Area under flash flood watch as storm moves inland
by Staff Report
Sep 05, 2011 | 2040 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tropical Storm Lee left the Gulf Coast drenched and raised concerns of flooding inland as it began its slow move north.

Bartow County remains under a flash flood watch until Tuesday morning, according to the National Weather Service. Rain and drizzle began to fall in north Georgia by Sunday morning, and widespread rain and thunderstorms will continue as Lee moves northeast from the coast. Areas across northern Georgia could see as much as 7 inches of rain, with 3 to 5 inches possible as far south as LaGrange.

Heavy rain will lead to instances of flash flooding, according to NWS, especially in poorly drained areas. With the amount of rainfall expected, the dry ground will saturate quickly, leading to rapid runoff and potentially dangerous flooding.

Cartersville had received just shy of eight-tenths of an inch of rain in the month of August, with the last reported rain prior to Sunday coming back on Aug. 4, according to The Weather Channel. The average precipitation in August is 3.05 inches.

Elsewhere in the South, Lee dumped more than a foot of rain in New Orleans and spun off tornadoes elsewhere Sunday as its center came ashore.

National Hurricane Center specialist Robbie Berg said Lee's flash flood threat could be more severe as the rain moves from the flatter Gulf region into the rugged Appalachians.

No deaths had been directly attributed to Tropical Storm Lee, though a body boarder in Galveston, Texas, drowned after being pulled out to sea in heavy surf churned up by Lee.

The vast, soggy system spent hours during the weekend hovering in the northernmost Gulf of Mexico before its center finally crossed into Louisiana west of New Orleans, pelting a wide swath of coastline.

On Sunday night, the National Hurricane Center said Lee had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. Its center was about 45 miles southeast of Alexandria, La., moving north at 6 mph.

Forecasters said Lee was expected to maintain tropical storm strength, with maximum sustained winds of at least 39 mph, through today as it pushes across Mississippi.

Marc McAllister, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Jackson, said Lee is expected to weaken over the coming days, but it could drop 4 to 8 inches of rain as it pushes across Alabama on Tuesday and Wednesday and into Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina. The storm is expected to produce less rain the farther north it gets.