Passengers experience long lines after flooding closes airport
HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Richmond International Airport was closed for several hours Friday morning after 7 inches of rain causes heavy flooding.
Several people reported heavy flooding in the area around the airport and road closures, including Interstate 64 and Route 60.
"You can't get to the airport right now," said Khristopher Lassiter, who had to wait at a gas station with other drivers, until police allowed people to re-enter airport grounds.
"As we were trying to get through, we thought it was an accident," said Joel Palmer. "(The officer) was like, 'No, you have to turn around ... The airport is closed."
Airport spokesperson Troy Bell says he doesn't remember a time when the airport closed just for flooding.
Pictures and video from the area show heavy traffic back-ups and travelers leaving their cars to walk into the terminal.
Bell says airport and TSA workers also had trouble getting into work.
The airport shared pictures of flooding on the tarmac on Twitter.
According to the airport's website, nearly every flight - both arrivals and departures - were delayed and a few were canceled.
After the airport reopened, there were long lines throughout the airport.
"Pretty much a line all the way back to the other entrance," said John Sheppard, a frequent flyer who says he's never seen lines like this at RIC.
The check-in line nearly extended across the entire length of the airport.
Also on Friday, Henrico County firefighters responded to seven stranded vehicles to assist motorists from their cars on Friday morning.
VDOT reported that traffic was being detoured off of I-64 near Laburnum Avenue due to high water.
Police urge you to turn around and avoid driving through any high water.
The following roads are dealing with high water:
- I-64 at Laburnum Avenue
- Williamsburg Road (Route 60) near Richmond International Airport
- Forest Hill and Westover Hills Avenue
- 17th & 18th Street near Broad Street in Shockoe Bottom
- 2300 block of Bainbridge Street, South Richmond
- 4000 Block of Midlothian Turnpike
- Midlothian Turnpike at George Wythe High School
- Forest Hill Avenue and Roanoke Street
- Parts of Semmes Avenue
Henrico County police reported several road closures:
- E. Washington St. at N. Mullens Rd.
- Bickerstaff Rd. b/w Oakland Rd. and Oakano Dr.
- Darbytown Rd. at the CSX overpass (b/w Louisa St. and Oakland Rd.)
- Meadow Rd at Early Forest Circle
- Audubon Dr. at Oakleys Ln.
- Audubon Dr. at Airport Dr.
- Glen Alden Dr. at Charles City Road
The NWS says flooding has been reported in the areas of Highland Springs, Mechanicsville, East Highland Park, Bottoms Bridge, Richmond International Airport, Fair Oaks, Varina, Orapax Farms, Elko, Montrose, Sandston and Glendale.
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