A slow-moving Tropical Storm Lee churned towards the Gulf Coast on Saturday bringing bands of heavy rain and strong wind gust that knocked out power to thousands of people in Louisiana and Mississippi.
Lee's arrival prompted evacuations in bayou towns like Jean Lafitte, where the waters from the storm was lapping at the front doors of some homes.
Lee is also dumping heavy rains on the southern parts of Mississippi and Alabama. It is reported that approximately 38,000 people in Louisiana had lost power at one point because of Tropical Storm Lee.
As of 5 p.m. on Saturday, 11,558 Entergy customers in Louisiana were without power, Entergy reported.
Lee is slowly moving north-northwest at 4 miles per hour and is expected to cross the Louisiana coast Saturday evening before lumbering across the southern part of the state on Sunday.
The National Hurricane Center has said that a few tornadoes will be possible through Saturday night over portions of southern Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama,as well as the far western Florida panhandle.
Some of the parishes included were: Ascension; Assumption; East Baton Rouge; Jefferson; Orleans; Plaquemines; Pointe Coupee; St. Bernard; Tangipahoa; Terrebonne; Washington; West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana.
A tropical storm warning is also in effect from Destin, Fla., all the way to Sabine Pass, Texas.
We have deployed Louisiana National Guard liaisons to Terrebonne and Plaquemines Parishes in order to help immediately respond to any emergency needs the parishes may have, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said in a statement released on Saturday afternoon. Additional Guard liaisons are on standby to assist other parishes as they may need Guardsmen to help respond to flooding.
He also 10 parishes have issued emergency declarations and that residents everywhere need to use extreme caution as Tropical Storm Lee is moving slowly, as expected, and we are already seeing flooded roads and other effects from rising water levels throughout South Louisiana.
Some areas along the Gulf coast could see up to 20 inches of rainfall, according to forecasts.
This storm is moving painfully slow, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu told reporters, during a break in the storm. We have to be vigilant.
The slow-moving storm was located about 50 miles southwest of Morgan City, La., the Hurricane Center said on Saturday evening. Its sustained winds have decreased to 50 mph and gradual weakening is forecast to occur Sunday and Monday.