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US-USREPORT Summary

Sep 5, 2011, 11 p.m.

Lower Manhattan: Rising from the ashes

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A decade after the September 11 attacks enveloped Lower Manhattan in a thick gray dust of pulverized buildings and human remains, the surrounding area has become a trendy neighborhood with a booming population. Although an iconic part of the New York City skyline and a symbol of New York's exuberant commercialism, the World Trade Center's twin towers were never much loved by locals, some of whom saw them as unattractive and out of scale with the surrounding area. Now from the horror and rubble, a new community is growing.

Two dead as wildfires scorch Texas, Perry back home

SAN ANTONIO/AUSTIN (Reuters) - Sixty separate wildfires, whipped by winds as Tropical Storm Lee passed, burned across parched Texas on Monday, destroying hundreds of homes and leaving at least two people dead, authorities said. "I'm still seeing no containment," said April Saginor, public information officer for the Texas Forest Service, who confirmed that the Bastrop County Complex Fire east of the state capital has alone scorched more than 25,000 acres and burned 476 residences so far.

Giuliani and Bloomberg: NY mayors linked by Sept 11

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Had it not been for the September 11 attacks, neither Rudy Giuliani nor Michael Bloomberg would have such high profiles on the American political stage. If Giuliani is always remembered as the 9/11 mayor of New York City for his leadership in the days of fear that followed, then Bloomberg will be recalled as the mayor who cajoled New Yorkers to focus on the future after the worst tragedy in their history.

Katia ramps up power, but seen missing East Coast

MIAMI (Reuters) - Hurricane Katia powered up to a major Category 4 storm on Monday, but was expected to veer away from the U.S. East Coast later this week, avoiding a direct hit on a seaboard already battered by Hurricane Irene. The U.S. National Hurricane Center warned, however, that U.S. East Coast beaches should still watch out in the coming week for large swells generated by Katia that could cause life-threatening coastal surf and rip currents.

Austin-area wildfire burns a record 476 homes in Texas

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A massive wildfire east of the Texas state capital of Austin has destroyed 476 homes since Sunday and is still burning out of control, state officials said on Monday. "I'm still seeing no containment," said April Saginor, public information officer for the Texas Forest Service, who confirmed that the Bastrop County Complex Fire has scorched more than 25,000 acres and burned 476 residences so far.

Gulf coast braces for more rain, one dead

MOBILE, Ala (Reuters) - Gulf Coast residents from Texas to Florida struggled with a third day of severe weather on Monday with one man dead and a teenager missing in rough waters as remnants of Tropical Storm Lee lashed the region. The tail end of the storm is expected to produce rain accumulations of up to 15 inches across the central Gulf coast, the National Weather Service said on Monday. Flash flood watches were in effect in along the coast until 7 p.m.

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