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Four Die in Tornadoes as Storms Snarl Holiday Travel

The storms moving through the U.S. turned deadly overnight, with at least four people killed in Mississippi as tornadoes swept through the South.

A day after killer storms raked the South, millions of holiday travelers wrestled Wednesday with wet roads and flight delays. More than 300 flights were canceled and more than 2,400 were delayed as rain soaked the East Coast from Maine to Florida and another band of rain hit the critical air travel hub of Chicago.

Delays of an hour were reported at Philadelphia International Airport and 45 minutes at LaGuardia in New York, according to FlightAware. Drivers on Interstate 95 dealt with rain, fog and wind. At Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, security lines deepened to half an hour.

More than 100 flights were canceled at O’Hare in Chicago, almost 50 in Philadelphia and more than 30 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The holiday storms turned deadly on Tuesday in the South. Four people were killed and 50 injured in Mississippi, and tornadoes were reported in Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi.

In Mississippi, Leonardo Drummond, 45, and Josey White, 40, died when their home was destroyed in the city of Laurel. In Columbia, Mary Jane Sartin, 71, was killed at her home, and Amber Sumrall, 33, was killed while taking cover in a hair salon, NBC affiliate WDAM reported.

Matt Crowther, a meteorologist with The Weather Channel, told NBC News that the chances of tornado activity were "a lot lower" on Wednesday than a day earlier, but tornado watches remained in effect for parts of Georgia and Florida.

As much as 4 inches of rain could fall across the Southeast on Wednesday, including possible flash floods along the Gulf Coast, The Weather Channel reported.

A separate storm system is expected to sweep in from the Pacific Northwest on Wednesday evening. Through Christmas Day, Salt Lake City could get 3 to 5 inches of snow and Denver 1 to 2 inches.


— Gabe Gutierrez and Erin McClam