NEW ORLEANS - Tropical Storm Lee barreled
into southern Louisiana's coast on Sunday, as New Orleans
prepared for one of the biggest tests of its flood defenses
since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005.
The National Hurricane Center said Lee's center was about 80
miles (129 km) west of Morgan City, Louisiana, with maximum
sustained winds of 45 mph (72 kph) at around 0500 EDT (0900
In New Orleans, about 70 miles west of Morgan City, the
storm recalled Hurricane Katrina, which flooded 80 percent of
the city, killed 1,500 people and caused more than $80 billion
in damage to the popular tourist destination.
Half the city lies below sea level and is protected by a
system of levees and flood gates.
"Don't go to sleep on this storm," Mayor Mitch Landrieu told
residents. He said stormy conditions could continue for the next