Severe Weather Threatening Southern States As Christmas Travel Rush Begins
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Authorities in western Arkansas say an 18-year-old woman was killed and a 1-year-old child was injured when powerful winds uprooted a tree and knocked it onto a house.
The Pope County Sheriff's Office says five people were in the home near Atkins when the tree fell shortly before 8 a.m. Wednesday. Three people escaped unharmed but the woman and the toddler were trapped inside the home about 65 miles northwest of Little Rock.
The sheriff's office says emergency responders pulled the child from the home. The toddler was taken to a hospital in Russellville, and no condition was immediately available.
The storms are continuing their march across the U.S., with forecasters warning of a moderate tornado risk later in the day for several Southern states.
The weather is already causing delays and cancellations for hundreds of flights, as the busy holiday travel crunch gets into full swing.
Rain and fog in the Northeast caused nearly 200 flight delays this morning in Boston, New York and Washington — the busiest part of the country's airspace. Rain in Chicago and Atlanta caused some delays in those cities too.
Severe storms that ripped through Mississippi and Alabama, however, had little impact on air travel since no major airports are in the two states.
There were about 600 delays and 16 cancelations by noon, according to flight tracking site FlightAware. More than 21,000 flights were scheduled for today, and a typical day sees about 150 cancelations and 4,000 delays.
Airlines expect about 38 million passengers over a 17-day period spanning Christmas and New Year's, an increase of about 3 percent, according to an industry trade group, Airlines for America. The group says the average flight could be 90 percent full.