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Storms Damage Marina, Airport, Leave Thousands Without Power

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Thousands of North Texans are suffering through the heat today without power.

Oncor reports that there are still about 11,000 customers in Tarrant County who don’t have electricity because of yesterday’s storms.

Wind gusts, some more than 70 miles per hour, knocked down trees and power lines.

The storms spared little at Eagle Mountain Lake where a dock and several boats were pushed across the water towards the shore.  At Meacham Airport, more than a dozen aircraft were also damaged.

The boat dock at Lake Country Marina on Eagle Mountain Lake broke free and ended up more than 300 yards away in shallow water.

“I ducked inside my boat and I just closed the doors,” said Randall Johnson whose boat was moored at the marina dock.

Johnson literally “rode” out of the storm inside of his boat and he says it was a wild ride across the marina.

eagle mt lake marina Storms Damage Marina, Airport, Leave Thousands Without Power“The dock started breaking up sheet metal flying off and then is started seeing structural twisting,” Johnson said.

Terry Braden and his wife watched that exact moment from their kitchen.

“All of a sudden, my wife says look at the marina and the big boat, the big dock, it had blown over against the water break,” Braden said.

Repairing the marina could take months due to the extent of the damage.

“It’s a pretty hazardous area there is a lot of stuff still floating in the water. It’s not a good place to be until we can get this cleaned up. It’s not a safe area,” said Jerry Shacklett of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

With all that damage and some people riding it out in their boats, there are no reports of injuries at the marina.

The winds at Meacham Airport in Fort Worth were so strong that it snapped a vintage aircraft in half. The plane ended up about 200 feet from where it was tied down. Other airplanes were literally torn to pieces and hangars were left in shambles.

“We had some significant damage with one of the large hanger doors blown off the track, actually lifted up and blown off,” said Chuckie Hospers, Director of the Vintage Flying Museum.

The hanger Hospers is referring to is the home to the Vintage Flying Museum and some of North Texas’ rarest planes.
“We are so fortunate that the aircraft in the hanger nothing happened to them. The one I’m standing near is very rare 826 slash B-26 bomber under restoration and can’t be moved right now because it’s on jacks,” Hospers said.

About a dozen planes were damaged with two being flipped over. Others had their pieces and parts scattered across the airport.
“Seemed like a tornado was on top of the hanger, but it was actually straight line winds whooping over on top of the hanger and ripping the sheet metal,” said Bill Welstead, Director of Aviation.

Meacham Airport and its runways are open, but using generator power.

“We verified that the runway is a safe environment that aircraft can continue to land and take off. And all the lighting and marking and pavement is in good condition, and it was,” Welstead said.

Airport officials estimate the damage could cost millions to repair. The damage came at a bad time for the Vintage Flying Museum. They are getting ready to host 150 World War II veterans Tuesday. Even with all the debris and destruction, Meacham Airport is not cancelling the event.

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