NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) will finally reopen tomorrow (Sept. 16), just over one week after it closed to prepare for Hurricane Irma.
The Florida space center weathered some visible damage and flooding from the storm, as spotted in an aerial survey, and was without water safe for drinking until today (Sept. 15). To take care of the center during the hurricane, 120 employees formed a "ride-out" team; a 250-person damage-assessment and recovery team replaced them on Sept. 12. Now, all 7,900 employees can return.
"The center has received an all clear for employees to return; however, recovery operations are ongoing and personnel should use caution when returning to work," NASA officials wroteon KSC's emergency management website.
The officials noted that all identified hazards had been controlled but that there might be debris; they asked that employees be aware of their surroundings and report any additional issues they find.
An estimate from the Patrick Air Force Base 45th Space Wing Weather Squadron said wind speeds during the storm varied from 67-94 mph (59-82 knots) at the 54-foot (16 meters) level to 90-116 mph (79-101 knots) at the 458-foot (140 m) level.