Monday, February 15, 2010

Airport Check-in: Washington, D.C., airports deal with snow

Washington, D.C.-area airports were closed to the public for much of last week after the record snowstorms that slammed the area and canceled nearly all flights.

But for hundreds of employees at Washington Dulles, Reagan National and Baltimore/Washington, it was all hands on deck as they worked around the clock to prepare for the reopening that started late Thursday.

"What we've gone through this winter, particularly this week, was memorable," says Margaret McKeough, COO of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which runs Dulles and National.

The 250 employees at Dulles and the 175 at National who are part of the designated "snow teams" were called in Feb. 5, shortly before the first major storm hit the region. Mostly composed of maintenance staffers who are trained on snow equipment, the teams worked in six-to-eight-hour shifts to run the plows and trucks, and slept on cots in offices and warehouses. They were given an option of going home one day. "It was pretty rough," McKeough says.

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