Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Planes, hangars damaged at Denton Enterprise Airport (KDTO), Texas

City crews and business owners at Denton Enterprise Airport are continuing to assess damage after overnight storms damaged up to 20 planes and 15 buildings. 

Storms hit the airport after 1 a.m. Tuesday, with winds reaching 75 mph, according to the National Weather Service.  No injuries were reported. 

Some planes from US Aviation Academy were twisted together, others were upside down. Hangar doors for the flight school and other businesses at the airport were crumpled or dislodged. 

Mark Taylor, co-owner and executive vice president of US Aviation said that in the grand scheme of things, the damage was not that bad. The company's maintenance crews are working on the flight school's building that had missing ceiling tiles with exposed insulation. Also, insurance adjusters were on site to try to appraise the damages, he said. 

"This airport is a great community and everyone was pulling together from all sides of the airport to help people clean up debris and do damage control," Taylor said. 

While some of the most tangled planes have been cleared off, several flipped planes were still on tarmacs across the airport during the day Tuesday. Some trash and debris remained in parking lots. 

Similar debris was removed from the runway before 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, said Mark Nelson, the city's transportation director. Even with damage and cleanup, no planes had to be diverted, he said.

Taylor said that when he got to the airport at about 5 a.m., he worked with other pilots and business owners at the airport to get things looking normal. 

"It was inspiring to see how everyone was working to get everyone back on track," he said. 

Outside of the airport, which is located west of Interstate 35 and south of U.S. Highway 380, there were no other major reports of damage in Denton County, Jody Gonzalez, Denton County's emergency manager, said. 

Pea- to penny-size hail was reported in South Denton, Highland Village and Lewisville, but there were no reports of major damage, he said, adding there were reports of some downed tree limbs.

"It was surprising," Gonzalez said. "We just didn't get a lot of calls for service in the county related to the weather."

After the storm passed through Denton, it seemed to slow down and weaken as it moved through the Dallas area, said Matt Bishop, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Fort Worth. 

"It was the real strong thunderstorm wind," Bishop said. "Unfortunately, it just happened at a place that caused a lot of damage." 

As for the rest of the week, temperatures will begin to rise into the weekend. Wednesday's high will be in the upper 70s and hit the 90s by Friday, said Bishop, who added that the next chance for rain is Sunday. 

Story and photo gallery:  http://www.dentonrc.com

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