St. Louis Airport Shuts Down

April 23rd, 2011
in econ_news

st-louis-airport-2 Econintersect:  Tornados swept across Missouri Friday evening (April 22,2011) causing widespread damage, including extensive damage at the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.  The airport has been closed (indefinitely, according to the Associated Press and until Sunday, according to CNN).  The caption image (from CNN video) shows a damaged roof at an airport terminal building.  Photos below show other

Follow up:

Here is another view of the terminal roof damage.


The view below shows an injury victim strapped to a back board before loading into an ambulance.  Note the wind-displaced van hanging in the background.


Below are vehicles making their way through rubble at the airport Friday night.


From Market Watch:

Friday evening state officials declared a state of emergency due to tornadoes and high winds that have caused damage across Missouri, according to a statement from Gov. Jay Nixon’s office.

“Initial reports indicate that these storms have resulted in injuries and significant widespread damage in several communities, especially in the St. Louis metropolitan area,” according to a statement from the governor’s office.

In 2009 Lambert’s passenger boardings fell about 10% from the prior year, ranking it as No. 31 among commercial service U.S. airports, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.


On Friday evening, a tornado tore off a large section of the main terminal's roof and shattered about half of its windows, the AP said.

Four people were hospitalized after suffering minor injuries at the airport, while an unspecified number of others were treated at the airport for cuts attributed to flying glass, the AP added.

From Bloomberg:

“All inbound and outbound flights are canceled at Lambert until further notice pending safety and operational assessments to determine the full extent of damage to the airport complex and the surrounding area,” the airport said in a statement today.

The storm broke most of the glass windows and doors and tore off sections of the roof at one of Lambert’s concourses, according to Jeff Lea, a spokesman for the airport.

“We had damage to light poles, signs as well as trees and fences,” Lea said in an interview. “Some vehicles were turned over.”

As many as 12.3 million passengers passed through Lambert last year, Lea said. The airport operates 256 departures daily and about the same number of arrivals, and is served by 13 carriers flying to 61 destinations, according to the airport’s website.

One of the aircraft at the airport was reported to have sustained damage.  In the picture below is what might be a part from a damage airplane (part of a jet engine?) resting against a terminal loading ramp.


Based on the pictures, it is certain that if the airport is opened within days, it will be with significantly curtailed facilities.

Below is an image from a damaged residential area in the St. Charles County, MO, part of the metro St. Louis area.

Editor's note:  We chose to focus on one house remaining standing in a several block area.  However, the damage to that one house may be such that it cannot be repaired and it, too, could be a total loss.

Images are from CNN video.

Sources: Bloomberg, The, CNN and Market Watch

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