Mayhem as High Winds Pummel LAX


Two runways at the Los Angeles International Airport were shut down yesterday as a result of a winter storm that wreaked havoc in the Los Angeles area. Strong crosswinds and gusts of up to 47 knots were recorded at the airport, tearing down trees and spreading debris on to the runways and streets in nearby neighborhoods. According to the Los Angeles Times, the airport was temporarily without power, leaving passengers to light their way with their cell phones. Thousands of homes in the area were also affected by power outages as a result of the storm.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor told the Los Angeles Times that several airplanes were diverted to Ontario International Airport as a result of the shut down. “We are trying to shoehorn a four-runway operation onto two runways,” Gregor said. “And add into that mix periodic strong crosswinds that prevent aircraft from taking off or landing and you have a pretty interesting evening.”

In other parts of the Los Angeles area, gusts upwards of 100 mph caused mayhem, with multiple small fires reported. A Shell gas station in Pasadena was destroyed, though no fire resulted as an employee managed to shut off the fuel supply.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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