Houston Airports Open As Floodwaters Recede

Houston’s Hobby and George Bush Intercontinental Airports resumed limited service for domestic flights Wednesday, five days after the city was flooded by the first Category 4 storm to hit the United States in the past dozen years. Most flights at the two facilities remain canceled through Sept. 2, however.

In a joint statement, the airports said they “will attempt to begin a phased return to service, with full service expected by this weekend.”

Both were open for limited service as of 4 p.m. local time Wednesday, after water receded on the surrounding roadways; inbound and outbound roads surrounding both airports, and Beltway 8, are now clear.

Still, travelers should check their flight status before heading to the airport, and “only those with a ticket for a confirmed flight should come to the airport,”  a spokesman for George Bush Airport said in a statement.

In total, close to 10,000 flights were canceled because of the storm, most of them at Hobby and George Bush, according to FlightAware.

Southwest Airlines, the largest carrier at HOU, has canceled all flights to the airport through Noon on Sept. 2. United Airlines , the largest carrier at IAH, is operating 31 flights to IAH today and plans to gradually increase operations to approximately 80 percent of its normal daily operations by Sept. 4, and return to full operations by Sept. 19. Airlines with smaller operations at IAH and HOU plan to operate most of their daily flights to each airport by Sept. 1.

Additional flight disruptions are likely through Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Kentucky as the remnants of Harvey move further north through Sept. 2. Further airport closures, however, are unlikely. All airports in Louisiana that were affected by heavy rainfall in the last few days are currently open.

Significant flight disruptions are continuing at other regional airports that handle high volumes of flights from the Houston area.

Airlines extended change-fee waivers amid the mounting Harvey-related flight disruptions. More than 7,500 flights have now been canceled across the nation since Friday, with nearly all of that total attributable to Harvey.

(iJet, Travel Market Report)

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