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CNN Today

Seattle Earthquake Damages Area's Major Airport

Aired March 2, 2001 - 2:30 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Seattle is slowly returning to normal, whatever normal is, following this week's earthquake. Officials say it could take weeks to tally up the damage from Wednesday's 6.8 shaker.

Yesterday, President Bush declared six Washington state counties federal disaster areas, freeing up federal aid for recovery efforts. National correspondent Tony Clark joins us again from Seattle.

We understand, Tony, that it's almost back to normal at the airport.

TONY CLARK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is. It is, Natalie. In fact, flights about 60 percent.

You know, the control tower was damaged in the earthquake, and so air traffic controllers have had to move to a temporary tower, and what they're going to do tomorrow is raise that tower up to 80 feet, put it on containers, raise it up to 80 feet, put it on a berm, and that should help give the air traffic controllers a much better view. That is also expected to allow them to increase the number of flights coming in and out of Sea-Tac Airport.

As I said, that will be raised to 80 feet. The old tower was 100 feet. A new tower that's under construction is 200 feet. So things should be helpful there. Also at Boeing Field, which is where a lot of the air freight comes in and out, one of the runways was damaged there, and that may take three to five weeks before that gets up and running -- Natalie.

ALLEN: Tony Clark in Seattle. Thanks, Tony.

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