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Hurricane Beryl snarls travel in U.S. as airlines cancel hundreds of flights

Hurricane Beryl impacts travel
Hurricane Beryl impacts travelers returning from holiday weekend 02:33

Hundreds of flights have been canceled Monday as airlines grapple with the impact of Hurricane Beryl making landfall in Texas

Another roughly 3,500 flights were delayed, although not all delays are related to the hurricane, according to flight tracking website FlightAware. Many of the disrupted flights are those originating in or flying to Texas airports, including almost 600 cancellations for departing flights at Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and 165 outbound flights at William P. Hobby Airport, also in Houston.

United Airlines had the greatest number of canceled flights on Monday morning, with 486 cancellations, followed by Southwest with 346, FlightAware's data shows.

Beryl made landfall as a Category 1 storm, with sustained winds of 74 to 95 miles per hour, although on Monday it weakened to a tropical storm with maximum wind speeds near 70 mph. Even a less powerful hurricane carries risks of flooding and storm surge, and rainfall in the Houston metropolitan area has reached between 2 to 3 inches per hour, with the region potentially facing up to 12 inches of rain as well as flash flooding, CBS News senior weather and climate producer David Parkinson said.

Beryl, the second named storm in what is predicted to be a busy hurricane season in the Atlantic, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, is expected to move over eastern Texas Monday, then pass through the Lower Mississippi Valley into the Ohio Valley on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

In a statement to CBS News, United said it is largely suspending flights out of Houston on Monday, but will waive change fees and fare differences for passengers who want to reschedule their trips. United flights at IAH are suspended through at least 5 p.m. Eastern Time. "That will adjust based on conditions as the storm passes through," the airline said. 

Likewise, American Airlines told CBS News that it is suspending operations at Houston airports on Monday until about 3 p.m. Eastern Time.

At least 162,000 without power along Texas coast due to Hurricane Beryl 01:33

"We'll evaluate conditions tomorrow to determine if it's safe to resume operations in the afternoon/evening," American said in a statement, adding that customers can also rebook their tickets without change fees. The carrier said it doesn't plan to change its Texas flight schedules in Austin, Brownsville, Harlingen or McAllen due to the storm. 

Southwest Airlines said in a statement that it has canceled flights at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, William P. Hobby Airport and Corpus Christi International Airport through noon on Monday.  The carrier added that it expects schedule changes through Monday afternoon and urged customers to check their flight status for any disruptions.

—With reporting by CBS News' Kris Van Cleave.

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