Hurricane Harvey Grounds All Commercial Flights in Houston
Eric Price
Houston, TX —

With tropical storm Harvey continuing to bring massive flooding to Texas, the Federal Aviation Administration on Sunday began suspension of all commercial flights to Houston’s IAH and Hobby Airport (HOU) until at least Noon on Thursday, August 31. This is the longest such closure in the airport’s history. Not since 9/11 has air travel in Houston been so disrupted.

The decision means that the only air travel in and out of the two airports will be humanitarian and emergency flights until further notice. As of Monday, more than 1,700 flights operated by IAM141 members had been cancelled.

In a follow up announcement, United Airlines told employees that, “there is a strong possibility we will have a no-op condition for an extended period of time” although the airline had planned to operate at least a few flights on Tuesday. Those flights began to cancel around noon on Monday, and the company announced that it would cancel all remaining commercial flights until Thursday.

The volume of water on taxiways and severe regional flooding continues to prevent normal airport operations, making it difficult for employees or passengers to get to the airports.

Grievance Committee members are asking that anyone experiencing attendance or pay issues resulting from the outage to contact them as soon as possible. Impacted workers should be paid for missed hours during facility closures, according to IAH Grievance Committee Chairman, Gary Welch.

Regional EAP Peer Coordinator Bahiyyah Wright issued a statement calling on all Texas IAM141 members to remain safe. “If it’s not safe to leave your house, please stay home or in a safe place. Your safety and the safety of your loved ones should be your number one priority.” Wright also encouraged IAM141 members to contact the EAP for help in obtaining needed assistance.

Epic and catastrophic flooding occurred in and around the Houston and Galveston areas and surrounding communities over the weekend. Rainfall amounts since Saturday evening have totaled 15 to up to 30 inches. Additional life-threatening rainfall totals of 15 to 25 inches with isolated higher amounts are possible across the Flash Flood Watch area through Wednesday. If these amounts materialize, the results could be devastating, especially if any of these rains fall where catastrophic flooding has already occurred.

A TSA Agent sits alone at IAH following the cancellation of all commercial aviation in the city.

EAP REPS ARE READY TO HELP IAM141 MEMBERS HIT BY HARVEY

Customer Service:
Robin Haben: (713) 392-4657
Sheryl Holland: (281) 701-2823
Judd Ozeene: (281) 772-6143
Lewis Norton: (832) 655-5758

Ramp:
Pete Tomas: (281) 748-9985
Robert Ferrucci: (281) 736-4213