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article imageSt. Louis airport resumes flights and releases tornado video

By Kim I. Hartman     Apr 24, 2011 in World
Saint Louis - Lambert-St. Louis International Airport announced they have resumed flight operations following the intense tornado that struck the airport Friday evening causing damage to Terminal 1 and Concourse 3. The airport also released video of the storm's impact.
New security video released by airport officials shows the tornado's impact inside Concourse 3 during the moments the airport was hit by the destructive weather event.
The tornado shattered windows, knocked out power, damaged terminal buildings and planes and sent passengers, security and airport employees scrambling as it passed through the St. Louis airport causing extensive damage.
The powerful tornado damaged 750 homes and caused power outages that effected almost 50,000 people.
The storm closed the airport on Friday, and again on Saturday to all but nine in-bound flights from three airlines, AirTran, Delta and Southwest, that were scheduled to land after 5pm Saturday evening.
Lambert-St. Louis Airport released the following statement:
The Airport and airlines are working to restore a majority of inbound and outbound flights for Easter Sunday, but a full schedule of flights will take a few more days because of heavy damage to the C Concourse. Lambert is working to temporarily move four airlines off that damaged concourse to vacant gates in Concourses B and D.
Travelers or people planning to pick up passengers at the Airport are still urged to contact their respective airlines for more specific information regarding the return of departing and arriving flights at Lambert. Lambert has been operating on generator power since the Friday storm. Full power is expected to return sometime Saturday evening, which will help the Airport and the airlines restore operations more quickly.
Airport officials announced its intention to have the Lambert-St. Louis Airport at 70% capacity by Sunday morning with flights scheduled to begin shortly after 9am.
It could take a "couple of months" to fully repair the damage, said Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, the airport director, reported CNN.
It's "absolutely amazing" that it tore through an airport and highly populated areas and there were no fatalities, Gov. Jay Nixon said. "We're talking property, we're not talking about loss of life because of this. That is nothing short of astounding."
"The National Weather Service has confirmed that damage at the Airport was part of an incredible trail of destruction caused by an EF-4 Tornado, with winds ranging from 111 to 165 miles per hour. It was the strongest tornado to hit the St. Louis area since 1967, and left an incredible trail of devastation, according to the National Weather Service.
There have been no fatalities reported from Friday's violent tornado and storm.
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