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After Sandy Flooded Runways, LaGuardia Reopens Thursday

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TWC News: After Sandy Flooded Runways, LaGuardia Reopens Thursday
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All three local airports are now open for limited flights after LaGuardia reopened at 7 a.m. Thursday, a day after JFK and Newark resumed operations. NY1's Rosemary Shultz filed the following report.

LaGuardia Airport reopened at 7 a.m. Thursday after Sandy's storm surge flooded its runways.

Carriers were providing limited service, enough for Chrissy Deep's daughter-in-law and granddaughter to land.

"I thought LaGuardia would still be closed because the other airlines, or other airports, opened yesterday, but LaGuardia was still under water, from what I understand," Deep said.

Cheryl Talbott also managed to land.

"Mine was fine," she said. "So we just kind of waited it out to see if it was going to get canceled or not and it didn't."

"Every time a tree went down or I saw a flood, I was just like 'oh, I'm not going to see my sister-in-law,'" said Nicole Talbott, who picked up Cheryl. "But I got to see her and she's here and I can't believe it. I'm still in shock that she actually landed."

Others weren't as lucky. Masanari Yamayoto arrived to find his flight canceled.

"The weather was perfect for flying," she said. "But you can see the schedule. All flights are canceled."

Port Authority officials estimate that the airport serves 69,000 passengers on a typical November day. But taxi driver Ahmad Hossain said that wasn't the case Thursday. He said he'd spent more than 90 minutes waiting for a fare.

Delta expects to be operating at full service on Friday. They say their ability to get back up and running along with the airport was in large part thanks to days of preparation ahead of the storm.

"Because the terminals were able to be sand bagged, because we were able to pre-plan, a lot of that water, the pumps did a great job in getting the water off the runways and we were able to inspect the runways for debris or anything that was on there and we were good to go," said Gail Grimmett, Senior Vice President of Delta Airlines New York.

All three area airports are now open, but the Port Authority continues to advise passengers to check with their carriers before heading in for a flight.

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