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Karratha airport reopens its doors

Alexander ScottPilbara News
Jeff Graves and his daughter Carly Kinch heading to Karratha Aiirport
Camera IconJeff Graves and his daughter Carly Kinch heading to Karratha Aiirport

Karratha Airport reopened its doors today giving stranded passengers the chance to fly home after damage from Tropical Cyclone Damien had grounded flights.

The airport was originally closed on Friday evening at 730, an hour before a red alert was issued for TC Damien.

The airport remained closed on Sunday and Monday morning with flights cancelled due to extensive damage from the cyclone.

During the cyclone the Airport lost power and sustained minor damage to the roof from a fallen tree.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the terminal sustained extensive flooding and electrical damage during Severe Tropical Cyclone Damien.

"I would like to acknowledge everyone who was involved in the significant recovery efforts that were undertaken to get this critical piece of infrastructure back up and operating 24 hours after DFES WA issued the all-clear.”

Jeff Graves was up in Karratha visiting his daughter and said he was due to fly out on Saturday and was hopeful the airport would reopen on Monday.

“The day of the cyclone I got a message from the airline saying you're rescheduled for today,” he said.

“Although in the lead up with all the reports it didn’t look like it would reopen, now it looks like we will be on the first flight out at 240pm,” he said.

Meanwhile, Matt Stichnoth was flying back to Perth after conducting offshore inspections said it was a relief to have the airport reopened.

“We’ve been offshore and seeing the destruction has been pretty impressive, and it’s great to see everyone working to get everything up and running,” he said.

Mr Stichnoth said he had not been stressed about the airport being closed because you never know how much damage could have been done during the storm.

“They’re so low you don’t know if you will get a storm surge to come through,” he said.

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