The Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, remains closed as NASA checks on the damage that Hurricane Irma may have caused the facilities.
Irma has now been downgraded to a tropical depression, continuing on a north-northwest trajectory after making landfall in the Florida Keys and Naples, Space.com reports. The storm cut off power and water services to the space center on September 11.
While electricity was restored to the space center on the east coast yesterday, the station still lacks running water, according to KSC spokesman Al Feinberg. KSC and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station are where many of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launches take place, along with United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V and Delta IV rockets.
A hundred and twenty employees who have been caring for the space station since September 9 were replaced by a crew of 250 Damage Assessment and Recovery Team members, who will inspect the storm damage and take measures to prepare the space center for its 7,900-strong staff.
Feinberg quoted an update form the KSC Emergency Management, saying,
The utility reports that Irma caused no less than 37 breaks to its system on the mainland alone and are not expected to be repaired for 2 to 4 days.
NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, and the nearby Redstone Arsenal Army post, are both closed today due to the weather conditions.
Hurricane Irma first hit land in the Caribbean on Wednesday, causing such intense damage that it was visible from outer space. In the aftermath, towns and cities in Florida still have major roads that are underwater or blocked by debris. The Florida Keys may have been the hardest hit in the state, while Orlando is still experiencing massive flooding in some areas. In many places, electricity remains shut down, the New York Times reports. A major utility provider, Florida Power & Light, has said that it might take weeks before power can be restored.