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Lambert still devising a plan for repairing tornado damage there

Lambert still devising a plan for repairing tornado damage there

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Officials at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport are still formulating a plan to permanently repair concourse buildings and gates badly damaged by the April 22 tornado.

The C Concourse of Terminal 1 took the brunt of the damage, forcing the airport to seal it and reopen airline gates and waiting areas in the shuttered D Concourse.

Windows were blown out throughout the C Concourse and in the ticketing area, and have been boarded up.

"The director has stated publicly that our intent is to restore the C Concourse," said Lambert spokesman Jeff Lea. "That has not changed."

While the repairs will be extensive, the airport still has not released a formal damage estimate, Lea said. That will be part of an overall review now under way, but city engineers estimated early on that the damage was expected to total in the "millions of dollars."

Lea said the airport has met with insurance experts and consultants since the tornado hit. Airport officials are compiling detailed financial information and other reports before deciding how to proceed.

The tornado resulted in the first prolonged closure at Lambert since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks paralyzed air travel across the country.

Despite the heavy damage, the airport reopened to commercial flights within 24 hours and had reached 100 percent of its normal weekday capacity within days.

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