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Tornado-Damaged St. Louis Airport Terminal Will Open In April

January 5, 2012

By Ken Leiser, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport officials confirmed Wednesday that they are targeting an April reopening of the tornado-damaged C Concourse.

Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge told airport commissioners that restrooms in the concourse have been renovated and storm-damaged windows have been replaced.

Storm repairs are being made in concert with planned terminal renovations, which include new ceilings and lighting.

"We would like to do a behind-the-scenes public event before it opens," Hamm-Niebruegge said. "We kind of wanted to do a big splash for the business community."

The event would likely occur a couple of days before the renovations are complete.

An EF-4 tornado slammed into the airport on April 22, causing extensive damage to the C Concourse, which remains closed. Airlines that were housed in that part of Terminal 1 were temporarily moved to other gates not in use at the time.

The tornado also broke numerous windows on the main terminal building, which remained boarded up for months. The tornado also damaged cars that were parked on the top level of the Terminal 1 hourly parking garage.

The extensive damage caused the first prolonged closure at Lambert since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks grounded air travel across the United States.

After emergency repairs and cleanup, the airport reopened to limited commercial air traffic within 24 hours.

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(c)2012 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Distributed by MCT Information Services

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