Hurricane Ike Airport Updates from Texas
When we talked to Jay Carpenter, secretary of the Texas Aviation Association on Sunday, reports of damage to airports in the path of Hurricane Ike were sketchy. By late Monday, a much clearer picture of the damage was available. Airport facilities, aircraft and hangars were damaged in a swath of northeast Texas that took the brunt of Ike. There's no doubt that by now runways have been cleared, facilities patched up and life is returning to normal but if northeast Texas is your destination, best to call ahead.
Individual airport updates from Jay Carpenter of the Texas Aviation Association:
- Katie Jarrett, airport manager from Williams Airport (9X1) in Porter said the airport is being cleared. Some damage. No electricity, but generator can be obtained if the airport is needed as a staging area.
- Kountze/Silsbee (45R) is open. However, there is no electricity and no fuel available. There is heavy damage to the airport property. No detailed report at this time.
- Pearland Regional (KLVJ) lost ten t-hangars and has extensive damage to many other hangars. Runway and taxiways are open, but there is limited fuel available.
- Ellington (KEDF) is operating, but with some damage. There are heavy emergency services operations to and from the airport.
- Houston Southwest airport (KAXH) is open. However, they have no power except for two generators. The city of Arcola is heavily damaged, and the airport is being used as a staging area to support the city, so it is very busy.
- Houston (IAH) had several several runways open as of Sunday, September 14. Some NAVAID limits. Commercial operations started Monday.
- Lufkin (KLFK) is open and fueling. Minor damage to one old hangar.
- Cleveland (6R3) is open, daylight only, but not able to pump fuel. Hoping to have pumps on generator within a couple of days. Minimal damage. Windsock down.
- Madisonville (51R) is open. There is no rotating beacon. Currently there is no power at the airport.
- Groveton (33R) is open for FEMA, National Guard, etc. Helicopters only.
- Pineland (T24) is open.
- San Augustine (78R) is open.
- Hobby (KHOU) is open. Limited ops on Monday. American Eagle Delta, Air Tans, Jet Blue are operating; SWA not operating on Monday, but plans to start ops Tuesday, September 16.
- Beaumont (KBPT) power is on generators, but the airport is operating. Heavy helicopter ops to oil platforms. The general aviation terminal has been flooded. (Air carrier terminal was damaged by Rita.)
- Cleveland (6R3) is open, daylight only, but not able to pump fuel. They hope to have pumps on generator within a couple of days. Minimal damage. Windsock down.
- Madisonville (51R) is open. There is no rotating beacon, and currently there is no power at the airport.
- At Liberty Municipal airport (T78), at least two hangars are heavily damaged and five planes destroyed. City Assistant Manager Avon Moore did not say if the airport was open. Power could be out for six weeks.
- Huntsville (KUTS) is open, has plenty of fuel, and is undamaged.
- Orange (KORG) is operating. Damage, if any, is not reported at this time.
- Rockport (KRKP) is reopened, no damage.
- Conroe's Lone Star Executive Airport reports in good shape. Minor damage to top of ATCT. One hangar door damaged. Airport is a staging area for utility companies and other recovery authorities; there is a lot of helicopter traffic. The airport is open, and there is a TFR for the Houston area.
- The Angleton/Lake Jackson airport (KLBX) is operating on generators. There is damage to about 16-20 hangars. Some hangar doors collapsed and fell on some of the stored aircraft.
- The Liberty Municipal airport (T78) reports widespread damage to hangars and based aircraft. No further information at this time.
- Galveston airport manager Hud Hopkins reports that he and the staff are all okay but the terminal building was flooded and is in bad shape, the lighting vault was/is underwater, most of the hangars were destroyed or are in disrepair, the lighting system is out, and there is no fuel on the field. The ATCT is okay, and the runway and taxiway pavements appear to be okay. (TxDOT AVN will send a representative to the airport at the appropriate time to help assess the situation and plan for funding to restore the airport.)
- Larry Gregory, president of the Lone Star Flight Museum on the Galveston Airport campus, reports that all LSFM staff are safe, but damage to the museum is substantial. The extent of the damage has yet to be assessed by LSFM officials and staff. Prior to Ike's arrival, pilots were able to fly the following aircraft out of harm's way: B-17, B-25, DC-3,P-47, F6F, F4U, SBD, AT-11, P-6 and the F8F.
- At last update, Southwest Airlines at HOU had planned to resume operations on Monday, September 15.
- Dr. Richard Watson of Texas Coast Geology has posted "300 air photos that I took yesterday from RKP to High Island and back. Gilchrist and Caplen are about gone," he writes.