Thursday, September 21, 2017, 9:14 am

Harvey floodwaters shut down Houston Airport

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TEXAS: Heavy floodwaters unleashed by Hurriance Harvey forced several airports in and around Houston to cease their operations and move to rescue opertion to minimize damages to the parked aircraft. The closure resulted in cancellation of thousands of inbound and outbound flights

George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) reported its closure until further notice. The FAA said that airports in Houston are expected to stay closed to the public until 28th August. United Airlines, which operates its second-biggest hub in Houston, says IAH will be closed until Thursday.

The airport closures have forced United, Southwest, and numerous other airlines to cancel flights. For example, United canceled 462, or 19%, of its flights Monday, according to flight tracking website FlightAware. Southwest canceled 330 flights, or 8%, worldwide. Those figures are expected to continue Tuesday.

United, Southwest, Delta and several other airlines are issuing travel vouchers to customers whose flights were cancelled.

Photos by reporters covering the natural disaster, which is anticipated to worsen as rain continues, shows how flood waters have shut off access to IAH.

Harvey has dumped more than 20 inches of rain on portions of southeast Texas since Thursday night, according to the National Weather Service. Harvey, which came ashore as a Category 4 hurricane, has since been downgraded to a tropical storm designation by the National Hurricane Center.

With Harvey stalled over the area, another 15 to 25 inches of rainfall is expected through Thursday, the NWS says. Storm totals in some locations may approach 50 inches.

Despite widespread flooding and rain, Houston airports remain open for humanitarian missions.

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