Latest: Nearly 900 flights canceled, 500 delayed in US

USA (AP) – The latest developments on the severe storms across the U.S. (all times local):

8:45 a.m.

Odessa Police block access to the railroad underpass on Grant Avenue near Second Street, Odessa, Texas, Dec. 27, 2015 | Photo by Mark Sterkel, Odessa American via AP, St. George News
Odessa Police block access to the railroad underpass on Grant Avenue near Second Street, Odessa, Texas, Dec. 27, 2015 | Photo by Mark Sterkel, Odessa American via AP, St. George News

Nearly 900 flights have been canceled across the U.S. and another 500 have been delayed due to the large storm system moving through the middle part of the country.

Flight-tracking service FlightAware showed that more than a third of the cancellations were at Chicago’s two main airports. Another large chunk came from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport; several tornadoes touched down Saturday in the Dallas suburbs.

Other cities with an unusually large number of cancellations included Houston; Denver; Detroit; Kansas City, Missouri; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and Lubbock, Texas.

A typical day sees about 150 cancellations and 4,000 delays.

Heavy rain and strong winds, like forecast for parts of Missouri, Illinois and Arkansas on Monday, are often more troubling for airlines than snowfall.

8:35 a.m.

People assess the damage to a storage facility destroyed by Saturday's tornado in Garland, Texas, Dec. 27, 2015 | Photo by Nathan Hunsinger, The Dallas Morning News via AP, St. George News
People assess the damage to a storage facility destroyed by Saturday’s tornado Garland, Texas, Dec. 27, 2015 | Photo by Nathan Hunsinger, The Dallas Morning News via AP, St. George News

The Texas Department of Transportation says many roadways across West Texas and the Panhandle have been closed due to ice and blizzard conditions, with traffic coming to standstill where Interstate 10 splits into Interstate 20.

The department said early Monday morning Interstates 40 and 27 were closed and that travelers should expect long delays across the region.

Vito Randazzo, of Alpine, California, is driving across the country and was among those who got stuck on Interstate 10.

He said Monday morning that he’d been sitting on the icy interstate since 8 p.m. Sunday and that “everybody’s just sleeping in their cars.”

He also said he couldn’t believe the “road was left in this condition” — snow-packed and icy — and that he had water but not food.

National Weather Service officials say that while the snow has stopped across the area, temperatures are to remain near or below freezing.

7:35 a.m.

Authorities say more than 180 Missouri roads are closed because of flooding.

A comfort chair is seen at the site of a residence whose wall was blown away by Saturday night's tornado, Copeville, Texas, Dec. 27, 2015 | Photo by Rachel Woolf, The Dallas Morning News via AP, St. George News
A comfort chair is seen at the site of a residence whose wall was blown away by Saturday night’s tornado, Copeville, Texas, Dec. 27, 2015 | Photo by Rachel Woolf, The Dallas Morning News via AP, St. George News

The Missouri State Department of Transportation says the closures include eastbound lanes of Interstate 70 in St. Charles County. Though both lanes closed Sunday because of rising flood waters, the westbound lanes reopened Monday morning.

Several bridges in southeastern Missouri counties also are closed because of flooding.

The National Weather Service said three to six inches of rain fell during the weekend, and up to four inches more are expected through Monday.

7:25 a.m.

Officials in Birmingham, Alabama, say more than 70 structures sustained some type of damage after a tornado touched down on Christmas.

City spokesman April Odom said a preliminary assessment found the storm damaged 72 structures in the Jefferson Avenue area, ranging from minor damage to full destruction.

Other parts of the city saw damage, too, and assessments will be completed this week.

Forecasters more storms are in the forecast for most of Alabama on Monday, and a tornado watch is in effect until noon CST for more than 30 counties.

A man takes pictures of damage outside an apartment complex after Saturday's tornado, Garland, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015 | Photo by Nathan Hunsinger, The Dallas Morning News via AP, St. George News
A man takes pictures of damage outside an apartment complex after Saturday’s tornado, Garland, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015 | Photo by Nathan Hunsinger, The Dallas Morning News via AP, St. George News

8 a.m.

Officials in Mississippi are reporting downed trees across a highway and a roof blown off a house from a storm about 20 miles northwest of Hattiesburg.

Covington County Emergency Manager Greg Sanford says the damage happened before dawn Monday near the town of Seminary. The area was under a tornado warning at the time, but no tornado has been confirmed.

Warnings were posted as a squall line moved west to east across Mississippi.

Statewide, more than 6,800 power customers lacked electricity at 6 a.m. Monday.

Northern Mississippi residents are still cleaning up from a tornado that struck Wednesday and killed 10 people in the state.

6:50 a.m.

Debris piles up after an apartment complex next to Interstate 30 was damaged by a tornado last night, Garland, Texas, Dec. 27, 2015 | Photo by Nathan Hunsinger, The Dallas Morning News via AP, St. George News
Debris piles up after an apartment complex next to Interstate 30 was damaged by a tornado last night, Garland, Texas, Dec. 27, 2015 | Photo by Nathan Hunsinger, The Dallas Morning News via AP, St. George News

Oklahoma highway officials say many roads are impassable because of wintry weather, downed power lines or flooding.

Parts of western and central Oklahoma are under a winter storm warning until midday Monday, while flooding is a major concern in the southern and eastern part of the state.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation says roads in northwest Oklahoma and Interstate 35 in central Oklahoma are slick and hazardous.

The National Weather Service says “disastrous” flooding will occur in eastern Oklahoma, where some areas received up to a foot of rain over the weekend. The state DOT says high water has caused the closure of some roads in counties in the southern and eastern part of the state.

6:30 a.m.

Parts of 11 states in the middle of the country are under a winter storm warning as the weather system that spawned tornadoes in Texas and flooding in Missouri moves on.

A house destroyed on County Road 489, Copeville, Texas, Dec. 27, 2015 | Photo by Rachel Woolf, The Dallas Morning News via AP, St. George News
A house destroyed on County Road 489, Copeville, Texas, Dec. 27, 2015 | Photo by Rachel Woolf, The Dallas Morning News via AP, St. George News

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for southern and eastern parts of Missouri, including St. Louis, and a small section of northern Arkansas. Most of Arkansas, eastern Oklahoma, central Missouri and central Illinois are under a flood warning.

Forecasters say Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and parts of Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas will see winter weather conditions ranging from heavy snow to ice, accompanied by gusty winds.

Parts of the Southeast will see rain, while severe weather is possible in Mississippi.

2:30 a.m.

Blizzard-like conditions have led to the closure of most of Interstate 40 from Albuquerque east across the Texas Panhandle.

People stand by after a rollover accident along Interstate 25 northbound just south of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Dec. 26, 2015 | Roberto E. Rosales, The Albuquerque Journal via AP, St. George News
People stand by after a rollover accident along Interstate 25 northbound just south of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Dec. 26, 2015 | Photo by Roberto E. Rosales, The Albuquerque Journal via AP, St. George News

New Mexico State Police spokeswoman Sgt. Elizabeth Armijo said Sunday night that the stretch of interstate from Albuquerque to the Texas border would be closed through at least Monday afternoon. She urged travelers passing through New Mexico to use Interstate 10 instead.

In Texas, the Texas Department of Public Safety says only a small section of the highway around Amarillo remains open. Texas State Trooper Cindy Barkley says deteriorating conditions forced authorities to indefinitely close the highway for about 100 miles east of Amarillo to Oklahoma.

I-40 is the main east-west highway through the state’s Panhandle.

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning until 9 a.m. Monday for the Panhandle and several counties in New Mexico. Authorities say that even in areas where the warning has expired, residual blowing and drifting is expected and will make conditions dangerous.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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4 Comments

  • knobe December 28, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    It is interesting that the holiday people travel for the most
    is the one that is in the WORST weather .
    Maybe people should consider making Easter their family get together time ?

  • native born new mexican December 28, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    There were between 500 and 600 trucks backed up on the I 40 freeway in Albuquerque. The roads from Albuquerque to the whole eastern part of New Mexico (going to Colorado, Texas and Oklahoma) were closed from Saturday afternoon until this morning at 9:30 am when some traffic started moving. There was heavy snow fall in southern parts of the state where there are really no snow plows. The state is having to move equipment down there to clear snow. There were roll overs and wrecks all over Albuquerque. VERY BAD STORM!

    • STUPID COMMENTERS December 28, 2015 at 6:59 pm

      i blame the liberals

      • .... December 28, 2015 at 10:57 pm

        Tell us all about it STUPID . LOL ! have a nice day STUPID

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