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St. Louis airport to operate full flight schedule

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Why no one died when tornado hit
  • A Friday night tornado shattered windows and ripped off a roof
  • The last of the airport's 13 airlines -- Cape Air -- will resume flights on Tuesday
  • The tornado also damaged 750 homes

(CNN) -- The main airport in St. Louis is expected to operate a full flight schedule Tuesday, less than four days after a powerful tornado tore through the facility, airport officials said.

But restoration efforts are far from over at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, where the Friday night storm shattered windows and ripped off part of a roof.

"It obviously just took a couple of minutes for the damage to occur," Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge told CNN's "American Morning." "It will take weeks, maybe a couple of months, to clean up all of it."

Still, Hamm-Niebruegge said efforts to get the facility up and running again have been "miraculous."

American Airlines returned to service on Monday, officials said. The last of the airport's 13 airlines -- Cape Air -- will resume flights on Tuesday, airport officials said.

Homes Ripped Apart, Flattened
Tornado rips through St. Louis airport

American and Cape Air were among the hardest hit after the storm, which devastated the airport's C concourse.

The tornado damaged 750 homes near the airport, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said. And preliminary National Weather Service estimates released Saturday show the tornado packed winds between 111 and 165 miles per hour when it hit the airport.

There were no fatalities reported -- a fact that Nixon characterized as "absolutely amazing."

Tornado cripples St. Louis airport Video

At the airport, Hamm-Niebruegge said the facility's design -- and the way people responded to warnings -- played a key role.

"It is a historic building, and it's built very, very well. I think that had a part to do with it, but we also had very early warnings," she said.

Besides damage to homes and the airport, the strong winds also hit businesses and tore through the roof of a Ferguson, Missouri, church where dozens had gathered on Good Friday to watch the movie "The Passion of the Christ."

CNN's Tom Laabs contributed to this report.

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