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Lee's remnants spawn Ga. twisters, drown Miss. man

ATLANTA — The slow-moving remnants of Tropical Storm Lee dumped rain across the South and whipped up twisters that damaged dozens of Georgia homes as the system pushed farther inland on Monday. One death was reported, and at least one person was injured.

In Mississippi, a man was swept away by floodwaters after trying to cross a swollen creek, the first death caused by flooding or winds from Lee. The system was sweeping through Alabama and pushing into Tennessee and Georgia by the afternoon.

Suspected twisters ripped off siding and shingles and sent trees crashing through roofs in Cherokee County, about 30 miles north of Atlanta. The Georgia Emergency Management Agency said about 100 homes were damaged.

In areas of Louisiana and Mississippi that took the brunt of the storm over the weekend, at least 16,000 people remained without power Monday. Lee's center came ashore Sunday in Louisiana.

The storm was expected to move up the Tennessee River Valley today. Forecasters have warned about possible tornadoes.

Meanwhile Hurricane Katia strengthened Monday night to a Category 4 storm, with 135-mph winds, as it moved across the Atlantic Ocean. Katia is not expected to make landfall in the United States.

Irene relief hits $1.5B

White House budget chief Jacob Lew estimated Monday that Hurricane Irene will cost the federal government $1.5 billion in disaster relief. Lew said the $1.5 billion was on top of $5.2 billion needed for other recent disasters, including tornadoes that leveled much of Joplin, Mo. The spending may touch off yet another partisan fight between President Barack Obama and Congress.

Lee's remnants spawn Ga. twisters, drown Miss. man 09/05/11 [Last modified: Monday, September 5, 2011 10:57pm]
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