Memphis GA Airport Ravaged by Flood

 - May 26, 2011, 3:00 PM

General DeWitt Spain Airport (M01) in Memphis, Tenn., has been closed since May 4 by the epic flooding of the Mississippi River. Home to more than 70 aircraft (including several turboprops), the general aviation airport was under as much as 12 feet of water, according to a Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority spokesman. In 1987 the authority built a levee to protect the airport from the nearby river. Another secondary levee was erected before the flood to provide further protection for the airport. While the near-historic flood level reached last month breached the levees, and caused a break in a nearby major water main, the airport authority had time to alert aircraft owners. “We had made notice to all the tenants,” said the spokesperson. “Everything that was flyable flew out.” Several other aircraft were towed away before the floodwaters swamped the property. A survey of damage to the airport infrastructure, including hangars, lights and the authority-run FBO, was to be performed when the flood waters receded, and the airport remained closed as of press time. Operations at the authority’s two other facilities, Memphis International and Charles W. Baker Airport, were unaffected by the flooding.