Fierce wind tosses car into tree in California; Storms cancel flights

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

VENTURA, Calif. (AP) - Authorities say a fierce wind in southern California has lifted a car into a tree, torn a metal roof from a shed and knocked boats off their trailers.

Police Sgt. Jack Richards says witnesses reported seeing a wind funnel that hit about 1:30 p.m. Thursday and traveled 1mile in Ventura.

Witnesses believe it was a tornado, but there was no immediate confirmation from the National Weather Service.

Meteorologist Eric Boldt says radar patterns indicated it may have been a non-rotating wind gust called a microburst.

No injuries are reported.

Southwest Airlines says it has canceled hundreds of flights in southern California and Arizona due to heavy rains and strong winds.

The airline said Thursday it suspended all takeoffs and landings at airports in Burbank, Ontario and San Diego in California and at facilities in Phoenix and Tucson in Arizona.

Most Southwest flights are canceled at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, and some are canceled at Los Angeles International Airport.

Airline Spokesman Brad Hawkins says 418 flights had been canceled as of early afternoon. Passengers are being booked on later Southwest flights.

Operations are expected to resume at 4 p.m. in San Diego and at 6 p.m. in Burbank and Ontario.

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