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Old 04-23-2011, 05:46 AM   #1
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Exclamation St. Louis' main airport is shut down indefinitely!

St. Louis authorities shut down the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport indefinitely after a severe storm and reported tornado touchdown caused significant damage. Windows were shattered. Debris rained down on passengers.

Officials say they need to fully investigate the destruction left behind by a storm and tornado that hit the airport around 8:15 p.m. Friday. Airport director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge said engineers and others would survey the storm's impact and damage today, once they have daylight.

Four people were transported to nearby hospitals with injuries after Friday's storm, and paramedics treated many, many others at the airport. Fortunately most of the injuries were minor, cuts and bruises from flying glass.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said, "There was a reported sighting of a tornado. Although that has not been confirmed, that storm caused significant damage to the airport."

Passengers were hit with flying glass and debris as winds ripped off part of the roof in the airport's C Concourse. The apparent tornado twisted metal in many locations at the airport, blew out plate-glass windows in the airport's main terminal, as well as blew off doors in the Concourse's baggage-claim area.

Engineers must evaluate a significant portion of the airport's roof, as there are reports it was damaged severely enough that it may have to be removed and rebuild, as it could collapse in its current condition.

About 50 percent of the windows were blown out in the airport's main terminal, according to airport director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegger.

The most heavily damaged area of the airport is Concourse C, used by American Airlines, and AirTran.
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Old 04-23-2011, 08:31 AM   #2
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I know...! isn't that bizarre?! I don't know what those people will do to get anywhere..KC is 4 hours..Chi 4 hours. I wonder how long 'indefinetly' is.
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Old 04-23-2011, 08:52 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by katroa View Post
I know...! isn't that bizarre?! I don't know what those people will do to get anywhere..KC is 4 hours..Chi 4 hours. I wonder how long 'indefinetly' is.
Fortunately there are a goodly number of air carrier airports nearby (closer than MCI or CHI) including Memphis, Indianapolis, Peoria, Colombia, Bloomington, Evansville and others. Other than some scrambling I doubt getting people on their way is going to be a major task.
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Old 04-23-2011, 07:31 PM   #4
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Thumbs up

They are trying to get the airport open by tomorrow morning. They are currently figuring out what to do about substituting for inoperable gates and the C terminal. They expect to be at about 70% of full operations when open.

A few flights are coming in tonight to be ready for early morning flights out tomorrow.

Terminal C can't be used for now because of serious noise conditions, and potential weather conditions since about 50% of its windows are missing, and much of the roof. The airport said they believe they will be able to be in full operation by the end of June or somewhat earlier.

Once their plans are fully formulated they will likely be working "round the clock" to restore full operations there.

The best news of all is that no one was seriously hurt.
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