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

Hundreds of flights were cancelled Monday as airlines grapple with the impact of Hurricane Beryl. landing in texas.

About 3,500 other flights have been delayed, but not all are hurricane-related, according to flight tracking site FlightAware. Most of the disrupted flights are flights to and from Texas airports, including nearly 600 cancellations for flights departing from Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and 165 flights departing from William P. Hobby Airport, also in Houston.

United Airlines had the highest number of canceled flights Monday morning, with 486 cancellations, followed by Southwest with 346, according to data from FlightAware.

Beryl made landfall as a Category 1 storm, with sustained winds of 75 to 95 mph (120 to 153 kph), though it weakened to a tropical storm on Monday with maximum winds near 70 mph (112 kph). Even a less powerful hurricane carries the risk of flooding and storm surge, and rainfall in the Houston metro area has reached 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.6 cm) per hour, with the region potentially facing up to a foot (30 cm) of rain as well as flash flooding, said David Parkinson, CBS News senior weather and climate producer.

Beryl, the second named storm in what is expected to be a busy Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, is expected move over eastern Texas on Monday, then will move 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 was largely suspending flights out of Houston on Monday, but would waive change fees and fare differences for passengers who want to reschedule their travel. United flights to IAH are suspended until at least 5 p.m. Eastern time. “This will adjust based on conditions as the storm passes,” the airline said.

Similarly, American Airlines told CBS News it was suspending operations at Houston airports Monday until about 3 p.m. Eastern time.

At least 162,000 people without power along Texas coast due to Hurricane Beryl

“We will evaluate conditions tomorrow to determine if it is safe to resume operations in the afternoon/evening,” American Airlines said in a statement, adding that customers can also rebook their tickets without a change fee. The carrier said it has no plans to change its Texas flight schedules to Austin, Brownsville, Harlingen or McAllen due to the storm.

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

—With reporting by CBS News’ Kris Van Cleave.

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