SEATAC, Wash. -- Sea-Tac International Airport reopened a second runway after freezing conditions following Wednesday's record snowfall forced the airport to shut down all three runways early Thursday morning.
Conditions were gradually improving at Sea-Tac as crews scramble to apply de-icer to planes, runways, ramps and taxiways. Alaska Airlines, which canceled dozens of incoming and outgoing flights to due to freezing rain and icy conditions, sent out the first four flights following the cancelations around noon.
Earlier, a sheet of ice on the tarmac prevented dozens of flights from taking off and forced arriving flights to reroute to other airports. Conditions were so bad, mechanical crews would de-ice one plane wing, then de-ice the other, only to find the first wing frozen over again.
By 7:30 a.m., the runway closest to the terminal was reopened, and by noon they opened the central runway. But the backup created by the closures will cause significant delays.
"The good news is that Sea-Tac was accepting arrivals and getting departures out there," said Sea-Tac Airport spokesman Perry Cooper. "Now the problem becomes coordinating all that, making sure we get everybody in and out consecutively on one runway...We're going to start relieving the backup we're seeing here now. "
If you're flying out of Sea-Tac Airport, travelers are advised to call ahead of time or click here to check the status of your flight before going to the airport. Information will be continually changing, so check this link often for the latest updates.