NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A large storm system churning in the Gulf Of Mexico grew Friday into Tropical Storm Lee, beginning a holiday weekend-long assault that could bring up to 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rain in some spots from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle.
The storm was expected to make landfall on the central Louisiana coast late Saturday and turn east toward New Orleans, where it would provide the biggest test of rebuilt levees since Hurricane Gustav struck during the Labor Day holiday in 2008. Governors in Louisiana and Mississippi, as well as the mayor of New Orleans, declared states of emergency. Officials in several coastal Louisiana communities called for voluntary evacuations.  CONTINUE

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