Operations at the nation’s ports of entry are expected to be back to normal today after Tropical Storm Gonzalo struck the island on Monday.
Edward Gilkes, the airport operations director said the airport shutdown at 10:30 Sunday night and was originally expected to reopen at noon on Monday. However, the level of debris and flooding anticipated at VC Bird International forced the opening to be pushed back until 8 am this morning.
Gilkes said fencing around the airport has been destroyed, including a section of the fencing for the new airport terminal, which is still under construction.
The passage of Gonzalo caused the cancellation of several flights into and out of Antigua yesterday, including seven flights from regional carrier LIAT. However, it, too, is expected to resume operations shortly.
“For what I gather, LIAT was able to get the majority of its airplanes out,” Gilkes told OBSERVER media. “They secured one in Stanford’s hangar and in their hangar, so they could stage an operation as early as possible after the storm.”
Several fishermen also reported damage to their vessels
A press release reaching OBSERVER media said the Antigua & Barbuda Port Authority is also expected to resume operations today.
Gonzalo was a low pressure system until yesterday afternoon when it began to stabilize. On Sunday afternoon the storm was expected to pass due south of Antigua with wind speeds of roughly 50 mph. Gonzalo however strengthened and began to move northward pouring rain and wind over the northern section of the island.