Airports closed: nation grid-locked

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 12, 2001

The entire world felt the aftershocks of Tuesday’s tragic bombings of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon when many families had to wait and wonder whether or not their family members’ flights would make it home. Airports around the country, even the world, grounded flights as the fear of terrorist attacks swept the country.

The fear was no different in Greenville, and the Greenville airport also was gridlocked. &uot;We had not received official word this morning. A gentleman was supposed to pick up his aircraft from here this morning, but air traffic control would not give him a flight plan,&uot; said Travis Capp, airport manager for the City of Greenville.

&uot;We also had an Alabama State Trooper helicopter land here because it couldn’t get back into Montgomery. We didn’t have any flight plans scheduled today except for the one gentleman,&uot; said Capps.

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The dedication of the new heliport at L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital also felt repercussions of the nation’s tragedies. A helicopter was scheduled to fly in from Birmingham for the ceremony and land on the new helipad, but was unable to do so due to the grounding of flights.

On Tuesday morning, Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman was en route to Washington, D.C. to attend a meeting to voice his concerns about incineration of chemical weapons in Anniston, Ala. He was forced to land in South Carolina and was returned to Montgomery

Tuesday afternoon by car.

"I share the grief and sorrow of all of you," said Siegelman. "I call upon the people of Alabama to say a prayer for President Bush, the families and the children whose parents will not be coming home tonight. We will not be frozen by these acts of terrorism."