Planes evacuate travelers stranded at Houston airport, flying them out of storm zone


Posted on: August 27th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) — Travelers stranded at Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport amid the deadly hurricane that devastated southeast Texas this weekend were tonight flown to Dallas out of the storm zone.

Over 400 passengers had been stranded at Hobby Airport and at least 100 passengers were stranded at George Bush Intercontinental Airport as Hurricane Harvey drenched the city’s roadways and overwhelmed homes, a Houston Airports spokesman told ABC News on Sunday afternoon.

The roadways to both airports were submerged underwater, so airport and airline officials were scrambling to figure out how and when to evacuate travelers, the spokesman said. No structural issues were reported at either airport, the spokesman added.

Then, starting late this afternoon, the flooding receded from the Hobby runways enough to allow Southwest Airlines to get special permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly five rescue flights to Dallas Love Field airport.

The flights evacuated 486 passengers as well as some Southwest employees.

Southwest said the passengers will be put in hotels until they can be rebooked.

An airport official told ABC News that after the Southwest rescue flights took off, only 25 people remained at Hobby airport this evening, 17 of whom are Houston-area residents.

Before travelers left Hobby Airport, among those stranded there today was a Chicago family of four: Micah Garb, his wife and their two teenagers daughters.

Garb posted a video on Instagram this evening of the line of passengers who seemed to be calmly waiting for what Garb says was expected to be “rescue flights.”

Garb also wrote on Instagram that his fellow travelers who were lined up to get on flights “spontaneously” applauded for the food service staff who kept them fed overnight.

By this evening, at least three Southwest Airlines planes were en route from Hobby to Dallas in an effort by the airline to move stranded passengers out of the storm zone.

Garb told ABC News his family boarded a rescue flight headed to Dallas.

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