Severe weather and nearby tornadoes caused two terminal evacuations at Oklahoma City’s Will Rogers World Airport last night. The first evacuation occurred at approximately 5:10 p.m. and lasted for 40 minutes. The second evacuation occurred at 6:55 p.m. and lasted for nearly three hours.
Several hundred people took shelter in the airport’s pedestrian tunnel during both evacuations. People were calm and patient as most were familiar with the threats associated with severe weather in Oklahoma.
Flash flooding on Terminal Drive and Air Cargo Road stranded several motorists. The high water also prevented people from leaving the terminal for several hours. At midnight, airport officials said, in a press release, the water had subsided and traffic was moving on those roadways. No injuries were reported.
During the second evacuation, the airport was closed to all inbound and outbound air traffic. Once the all clear was given, airport staff conducted an airfield assessment and reopened the airport at 9:44 p.m.
All remaining departures for the evening were cancelled along with numerous arrivals.
Several early morning flights for today (Thursday, May 7) have also been cancelled or delayed; however, several of the airlines are bringing in extra aircraft this morning to accommodate passengers and to get operations back to normal.
Those who might be coming to the airport to pick someone up are advised to check on the flight before coming.
All travelers should check with their airline before coming to the airport.
The terminal building sustained water damage in several areas. The airport is still assessing other damage that may have occurred to the building and other property.