Travelers faced long lines, delays after flooding closed Richmond airport

Posted at 7:06 AM, Jun 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-22 18:28:04-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. - Richmond International Airport reopened around 9 a.m. Friday, an airport spokesperson confirmed. It took some time for the airport to become fully operational, he added.

Long lines and flight delays greeted travelers once the airport reopened.

“We saw people running with their luggages because nobody knew what was going to happen they were thinking they were going to miss their flights there was tension everywhere,” said Richmond traveler Somsubhra Chatterjee. “When we came in and saw every flight was delayed and they were not able to put us on next flight that was frustrating,” he added.

Chatterjee and his wife sat in the airport all day Friday waiting for their delayed flight to depart.

RIC reported at least 44 delays and 8 cancellations.

At least one traveler said his plane sat on the tarmac for one hour once it landed Friday morning.

Other travelers missed early flights and had to re-book for later in the day.

Some travelers were alerted in advance that their flight was delayed.

“They did send us a text, so we were able to take some time at home and not be stuck on the road or at the airport,” said, Richmond traveler Lorraine McQueen.

“It would have been nice to leave on time, but I completely understand safety does come first and I was appreciative to get the text,” she added.

“If we are safe then it’s okay,” said, Chatterjee.  “We are thanking God that we are not stuck in the water that’s better.  We are arriving at our destination a bit late but that’s okay we have one week of holiday we can enjoy.”

RIC broke a 70-year record with the most rain in one hour at 4.09".  A spokesperson said, "There are 40-year+ employees at #RIC who've never seen it like this."

“Due to heavy rains, RIC is experiencing flooding in some areas, including roadways leading to the passenger terminal and some ramp areas," an airport spokesperson tweeted earlier Friday morning. "Maintenance and public safety workers are onsite as we assess conditions and work to restore services."

This is a developing story. Witnesses can send news tips and photos here.

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