Monday, March 04, 2019

Weedon Field Airport (KEUF), Eufaula, Barbour County, Alabama

There will be a Tornado Clean Up on Saturday, March 9th, from 9 a.m. to noon in Eufaula. Volunteers are needed. For more information call Michael Hollins at 1-888-638-9993.

A businessman from Columbus, Georgia, had moved his jet, valued at an estimated $23 million, to Eufaula’s Weedon Field following Hurricane Michael last October. On Sunday, that jet was one of 21 aircraft to be either damaged or destroyed by an EF2 tornado that made a direct hit on the airport just north of downtown Eufaula.

A representative of the Alabama Department of Transportation’s aeronautics division was in Eufaula Wednesday, and after touring Weedon Field, he told Eufaula Mayor Jack Tibbs it was the worst airport damage he’d ever seen following a storm.

The majority of the planes were insured, but not all. Also, the airport’s hangars were crushed.

“We will give the aircrafts’ owners time to collect their belongings before demolition begins,” Tibbs said. “We’ll start that as soon as we possibly can. The first priority is to get a fence back up. It’s not necessarily safe around those planes. Please don’t go on airport property for that reason. The City of Eufaula will have on-duty police out there 24/7. We will rebuild the hangars better than they were before.”

Congresswoman Martha Roby contacted the mayor personally, while representatives from Senators Richard Shelby and Doug Jones called to offer their support.

Individuals from Auburn University’s Civil Engineering Department analyzed the debris and damage to see if they can come up with better construction methods for catastrophic conditions. They expressed to Tibbs that they indeed saw where modern construction techniques would have been better.

Visitors to Eufaula following the tornado also include the American Red Cross, FAA (Federal Aviation Association), the National Weather Service, which looked at the debris field and determined a high EF-2 with winds from 111 to 135 miles per hour hit Eufaula. The tornado came across Gammage Road and ripped apart trees there, but it did not touch ground until it reached Weedon Field. From there, it also destroyed the Northside Fire Station, ripped down power lines on Highway 431, demolished the city’s 40,000 spec building at Lakepoint Industrial Park, and wreaked havoc on a hatchery at the park owned by Tyson Foods, which recently purchased Keystone Foods. Eggs being hauled to the factory daily have been diverted elsewhere in the meantime thanks to Tyson’s numerous resources.

Industrial Development Board will make the decision if they’ll replace the spec building. The next meeting of the IDB Board is March 14.

The tornado was two days shy of the 100th anniversary of a tornado that tore through Eufaula on March 5, 1919, destroying the Catholic Church and many of the old college buildings on College Hill.

What’s next for Eufaula?

“Now, we’re working with insurance companies and adjusters, including with demolitions,” Tibbs said. “The airport is operational with the tarmac, fuel and terminal. It’s all open. The Northside Fire Station is temporarily housed inside the terminal at Weedon Field.”

Heavy on many minds this week was the loss of Ryan Pence and his fiancée, Felicia Woodall. Both were killed in the tornado that hit Beauregard in Lee County, where 23 people lost their lives. Pence was the stepson of Eufaula Public Works Superintendent Tim Brannon. He worked with the Eufaula Parks and Recreation Department. Woodall had worked at Medical Center Barbour.

Original article can be found here ➤

Pictured is one of the estimated 20 planes at Weedon Field that were damaged by Sunday’s tornado.

EUFUALA, Alabama (WRBL) - Tornado devastated northern portions of Eufaula Sunday afternoon destroying the town's airport.

The damage could reach as much as $100 million, according to Eufaula Mayor Jack Tibbs.

The airport has a 5,000-foot runway and housed more than two dozen planes from across the region.

Tibbs says at least 21 aircraft were damaged when 30 hangars were leveled Sunday afternoon just before 5 p.m. eastern.

At least two jets were damaged, one owned by former Columbus car dealer, Carl Gregory.

Gregory's plane was identifiable by its tail number and is estimated to be a $20 million aircraft.

In addition to the airport damage, the city's north fire station was also destroyed. Two firefighters rode out the storm huddled on top of one another in the building, Tibbs says. The firefighters were not injured.

Mayor Jack Tibbs says no significant injuries or fatalities.

A chicken hatchery and city industrial building across US 431 between Lakepoint State Park and downtown Eufaula were also significantly damaged.

Story and video ➤

Eufaula firemen Lieutenant Ethan Parrish and Engineer Corey Crozier survived a direct hit on the city’s north fire station Sunday afternoon by following protocol and seeking the best available shelter – a bathroom.

Across Highway 431, Pastor Leonard Weaver had no structural damage to his Greater Faith Christian Center, but he was at the church when the tornado arrived just a few hundred yards up the road.

“We had canceled our 5:30 (p.m.) service,” Weaver said, “but I was here anyway and I noticed it began raining hard and the lights flickered. Then, I heard that train they tell you about. I’m from Florida. I knew there wasn’t a train track around here, so I knew what it was. It sounded like one of those military helicopters. The church was just trembling.

“I didn’t know which way it was blowing, so I didn’t want to open the door because stuff was blowing around. All I knew was that it got real dark.”

Weaver and his associate pastor, Jacob Smith, Jr., were searching for panels of the church’s storage building that had much of its metal roof ripped apart just feet from the church. They found some several hundred yards away, but many pieces were likely even further away.

About 20 aircraft, including some jets, were damaged. All of the airport’s hangars were destroyed. At least one large truck at the airport was flipped on its side. The lobby of the airport was greatly damaged, too.

Southern Souls Animal League on Highway 431 had several pets forced to be Fostered out Sunday evening due to extensive damage. Southern Souls’ Facebook page posted the following message: “Help save our shelter. We have sustained extreme damage to our shelter. … Thankfully, all animals are OK, but we need help! No donation is too little! We are Eufaula strong and need help to get our shelter back up and running. Please donate if you can...”

Southern Souls said it would be posting a wish list on its Facebook site later Monday.

The hatchery at Keystone Foods, which was purchased last year by Tyson Foods, suffered damage at Lakeside Industrial Park. A structural engineer was expected to arrive on Monday to assess the damage at the plant.

Tyson Foods released the following statement on Monday: “Our hearts go out to everyone who was impacted by the weather in Alabama yesterday. To the best of our knowledge, none of our team members have been injured there. The processing plant in Eufaula was not impacted and it will operate as normal today. Unfortunately, our Eufaula hatchery was impacted and will not operate. We’re still assessing damage and should know more later today.”

Eufaula Mayor Jack Tibbs, who was especially thankful his town survived without any injuries, noted that the city’s 40,000-square foot spec building at the Lakeside Industrial Park was “somewhere out in the woods. It’s gone.”

Power lines on Highway 431 were also downed by the twister.

Sam’s Kitchen and Grill, located in the southern-most end of the building at the airport, did not suffer damage, but its owner was unsure if it would be open for business on Tuesday due to the power problems at the airport. She too was expected to find out later Monday and said she would be posting an update via Facebook.

The airport and Lakeside Industrial Park are about 4.5 miles north of downtown Eufaula.

Original article ➤

EUFAULA, Alabama (WTVM) - Several areas in the Chattahoochee Valley were heavily impacted by tornadoes Sunday.

Eufaula, Alabama was among the areas hit the hardest, along with parts of Lee County, Alabama and Talbotton, Georgia.

The tornado destroyed several single-family homes and at least 23 fatalities were reported.

One location in Eufaula that experienced extensive damage include the Eufaula Municipal Airport, located off Highway 431. Aircraft and jets were damaged and are now piled in the rubble.

Original article can be found here ➤


  1. This all appears to be in Alabama not Oklahoma.

  2. It saddens me to see pics of these vintage planes that met their fate through no fault of their own. Everytime this happens GA moves a little towards it's end as I can't afford to rent a new Cirrus for $400+/hr.

  3. My thoughts are with the families in Alabama. What a horrible thing to go through.

  4. Awful to lose everything you own ... and then to have a loved one perish in the tornado... unfathomable. Sending positive thoughts and prayers ... to all those who lost their lives and for the families that are affected.

  5. Awful loss to GA...

    BUT LSA will hopefully fill in the blanks. I am LSRM-A and see how the FAA is trying to revive GA with ASTM 37 consensus and simpler more effective rules.

    Starting with guys like me who can maintain and do annuals on LSAs after a 15 day course, because the manuals and technical support provided by the manufacturers allows for it.

    The Ranger at 99k and others are already lowering the price and soon 3000 lb with 4 seats might be the limit for some offerings.

    Also drones carrying people will make the sky more accessible to all.

    I am not worried about GA and the sooner vintage technology based on obsolete fossil fueled engines is replaced by clean electric drives with high density energy in new types of batteries the sooner we will see a revival like has never been seen before.

  6. I live and work in the area, and I want to commend the local news broadcasts. They were on the spot as the tornadoes developed, predicting most before they were on the ground. They stayed in commercial free, emergency mode for more than 6 hours tracking the storm's track and development across Alabama and Georgia. At times there were 5 tornadoes on the ground at once in our area and they tracked them all giving warnings to any in the track.

    I believe they saved a lot of lives.

  7. I remember back in late May of 1985 when a tornado tore through western PA and just missed KPJC (8G7 back then) by about a mile. All the Condor Aero club planes used to be tied down on concrete slabs outside. My Dad took me & my buddy up in a 172 a couple weeks later and you could follow the swath it cut through the trees on its way to NY state.