As flood waters recede, Jefferson City airport looks toward next steps

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JEFFERSON CITY - The floodwater from the Missouri River is slowly receding Thursday at the Jefferson City Memorial Airport.

The flooding has shut down the airport, but for the first time in days, part of the runway is starting to show again. The director of operations for Jefferson City Public Works said the airport closure has cost the city.

"There's a broader economic cost. It's been estimated that our airport brings in over 20 million dollars to the region," said Britt Smith. 

As soon as the flood waters recede enough for workers to get on the runway, the city said it already knows what it will do first. 

"The first step is addressing the runway. There's probably a fine coat of silt that's been left on it when the waters do recede. We do expect to see some mud and debris left out there, so that'll be our first order of business is getting that area clean," said Smith.

While the damage won't be fully clear until an inspection can take place, Smith said he believes there may need to be replacements to key parts of the runway.

"There's navigational aids that tell pilots where our airport is... there's a lot of other electronic associated devices that have been under water that we're going to have to go through and get those working again," Smith said.

Smith said there is no estimate yet on how much all the repairs might cost, but he said the city's workers will be able to fix and clean the damage without hiring outside help. 

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