Memphis GA Airport Submerged in Flood

 - May 10, 2011, 11:00 AM

General DeWitt Spain Airport (M01) in Memphis has been closed since last Wednesday due to the flooding from the Mississippi River. The general aviation airport–home to more than 70 aircraft, including several turboprops–is currently under more than six 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 this past week breached the levees and caused a break in a nearby major water main, the levees bought enough time for the authority to alert aircraft owners. “We had made notice to all the tenants,” said the spokesman. “Everything that was flyable flew out.” Several other aircraft were towed away before the floodwaters swamped the property. Until the water level recedes significantly, a survey of damage to the airport infrastructure, including hangars, lights and the authority-run FBO cannot be performed, and the airport will remain closed until further notice. Operations at the airport authority’s two other facilities, Memphis International and Charles W. Baker Airports, are unaffected by the flooding.