Storm expected to soak South – but could do a lot worse
SAN FRANCISCO – A strengthening winter storm that dropped recordbreaking downpours on Los Angeles is expected to pack a powerful mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain – maybe even tornadoes – that could cause flash floods and power outages, snarl air travel and down trees as it crawls across the southern United States.
Significant delays threatened at airport hubs such as Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Atlanta through the weekend could make a mess for air travelers and ripple across the country, forecasters warned.
So far most major hubs were expected to see only rain with the exception of Charlotte, North Carolina, a hub for American Airlines, where icy weather and up to a half-foot of snow were possible Sunday. Airlines are waiving change fees across a number of states.
More than a dozen states from Nevada to Virginia are under snow, ice and flood alerts. The governor of Oklahoma declared a state of emergency; the governor of North Carolina was expected to before the storm arrived.
Heavy rain is expected from eastern Texas to Georgia. Southern Texas, including Corpus Christi and Houston, has the greatest risk of severe weather, including isolated tornadoes.
“As severe weather approaches, it is imperative that Texans heed all warnings from first responders and local officials,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday. “I encourage all Texans to stay alert to potentially hazardous road conditions and changing weather patterns. Texas is prepared to respond and offer the necessary assistance to local communities as they deal with the impact of this storm.”
By Saturday, the rain and flood threat will shift to the Deep South and Southeast. Along the northern edge of the storm, from Missouri to the Carolinas, more freezing rain and ice is likely.
Much of the report about Paul Manafort was kept under seal.
Traffic was at a standstill Thursday on Interstate 5 near Gorman, Calif., after record-breaking rainfall.