Tornado Recovery at St. Louis Airport

STUART VARNEY, GUEST HOST: New video coming in today showing the chaos at the Saint Louis Airport when the twister hit this weekend.

After seeing that, really hard to believe that the airport was back up and running within 24 hours?

Well, Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge is the director of Lambert Saint Louis International Airport. She joins me now on the phone.

Rhonda, congratulations.

Right from the get-go, to get it back up and running pretty much to full capacity very, very quickly, congratulations, indeed. Well done, ma'am.

RHONDA HAMM-NIEBRUEGGE, DIRECTOR, LAMBERT-SAINT LOUIS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: Well, thank you, Stuart. We -- we are quite happy with that as well, and nice to know that we are serving the public again.

The -- yesterday, as you did say, we were back up and running within about -- about a 30-hour time frame. But we operated. We closed out the day yesterday with 76 percent of the normal operations that were operated. Today, we believe we will be at 90 percent. We are on target based on where we are at thus far today. Tomorrow, we anticipate that we will be at 100 percent capacity.

VARNEY: Rhonda, let me interrupt for a second, because I know this airport. I have flown in and out of that place many, many times.

And I know that you have got huge and I think they were custom-made windows in that historic part of the airport. Did they get blown away? What are you going to do about that?

HAMM-NIEBRUEGGE: Yes. We have boards in all our beautiful windows right now. We were fortunate to be able to get out here and get them covered up. It took about 20 hours and lots of, lots of labor.

But what wasn't broken in those, we had to actually finish breaking in -- in order to get them boarded up. We will -- we will be working on restoring them to just the way they were. I mean, they are historic windows...


HAMM-NIEBRUEGGE: ... in a very historic landmark. So, our plan is to restore them as to how they were.

VARNEY: Well, the city of Saint Louis has taken its lumps recently, but you have come through with shining colors there.

Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, Saint Louis International Airport, thanks for joining us, ma'am. We appreciate it. Congratulations.


HAMM-NIEBRUEGGE: You're welcome. Thank you, Stuart.

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