Main runway no longer flooded at Jefferson City Memorial Airport

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JEFFERSON CITY - The main runway at the Jefferson City Memorial Airport is ready for planes again, according to Public Works Director of Operations Britt Smith.

He said flood water receded enough that crews were able to gain access to the airport. 

“Within the last two days, we went from having a main runway that’s 6,000 feet long and 100 feet wide, that was completely covered in water and mud to right now its clean and dry,” Smith said.

The airport was covered in more than five feet of floodwater before clean-up efforts began. The City of Columbia, Cole County and MoDOT provided equipment on Monday to help get mud off the runways. Some still need work.

“Currently, much of our pavement is still underwater, we are trying to get to it as the water is decreasing,” Smith said. “Its difficult to say when we will open back up, but we are hoping within the next week.”

Nick Raithel, the owner of Nicks Family Restaurant in the terminal, said it will take months to recover.

“The help and I have had no job since it’s closed, it could be August before we have a job again,” he said. “Its been tough.”

Smith said the airport is taking bids to clean up the terminal, but there's been "tremendous progress."

“I couldn’t be more proud of the work that we’ve done, but we still have a long way to go,” he said.

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