Air NZ flight to Houston diverted after storm closes Houston airport

Posted August 29, 2017

The photo above is doing the rounds on social media, purportedly showing Houston airport after the flooding of Hurricane Harvey.

Five Southwest Boeing 737s flew out of the flooded airport on Sunday to evacuate the airline's remaining customers from the airport. At the same time, 220 flights had been preemptively cancelled in the region with 40 cancelled on Sunday.

The FAA closed all roads in and out of the Houston Hobby Airport Sunday, leaving several hundred people still inside.

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Airport officials are urging all travelers planning to fly from New Orleans to continue to check with airlines for flight statuses.

The Houston airport is expected to be closed to non-emergency air traffic at least until August 30.

Workers at Houston airport have said on social media that although the airport is affected by the storm, it's not anything like the image here.

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Houston Intercontinental is the 14th busiest airport in the US with 20.1 million enplanements in 2016, FAA data shows. CNN added "the airline received clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration to operate out of the closed airport, according to ... two sources".

The runways at Houston Hobby were underwater as of 14:44 local time today, according to local reports. Southwest, the main carrier at Hobby cancelled about 130 flights by the end of the day Saturday, about 40% of their schedule.

The statement said: 'Our Hearts are with South Texas, our Southwest Family, and everyone affected by the storm. Because the waters rose so rapidly, some 400 people were trapped inside the airport with no way to leave.

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Over the next few days, severe weather caused by Hurricane Harvey may impact flights at IAH and HOU.