Tornadoes sighted across Gulf coast spawned by Lee

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 04, 2011 11:19 AM
Tornadoes sighted across Gulf coast spawned by Lee

By Kelli Dugan

MOBILE, Ala (Reuters) - - Tropical Storm Lee spawned Tornado sightings and alerts from the Louisiana Gulf Coast to the Florida panhandle on Sunday although there were not reports of major damage.

The National Weather Service said it had received at least eight preliminary reports of tornado sightings by late Sunday morning in an area stretching from Lafayette, Louisiana to Pensacola, Florida.

Numerous tornado warnings were issued for southern Mississippi and tornado watches for parts of southern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.

Lee also prompted rain and hail, and high winds in parts of the area, according to weather reports.

The tornado watches were in effect until 4 p.m. local time for southwest Alabama, southeast Mississippi, and the northwest Florida panhandle.

A tornado touched down in Gulfport, Mississippi just after midnight on Sunday, causing minor damage and injuring two people, according to local media reports.

Tropical Storm Lee was off the coast of New Orleans and was prompting high winds and heavy rain in parts of Louisiana, but no significant flooding.

Alabama and Mississippi were battered by deadly tornadoes earlier this year with Tuscaloosa, Alabama particularly hard hit by a strong tornado.

(Written by Karen Brooks; Editing by Greg McCune)