Strong winds flip airplanes at Denton airport


The runway at Denton Enterprise Airport is back open after severe weather blew through the area overnight Monday.

Officials at the airport said 15 to 20 aircraft and 15 structures were damaged because of the strong winds and hail. Several small airplanes were left upside down and hanger doors were blown open.

Meteorologist Evan Andrews said he believes the damage was caused by a microburst. The airport said its tower clocked the wind speed at 100 miles per hour, but the National Weather Service believes it was closer to 60.

Wesley Pearce is in awe by the wide-spread damage done to the airport. The veteran airplane mechanic captured a snapshot of the severe weather as it moved through the area just after midnight.

“You can see this massive, huge part of the storm just went right through the airport,” he said. “It destroyed so much stuff, did a lot of damage here. It was amazing.”

SKY 4 was hovering overhead as pilot airport officials began assessing the aftermath caused by high wind and hail.

Pilot Ken Edmonson got a birds-eye view of the damage as he was returning to the airport Tuesday morning. He landed just before the runway was shut down.

“Aside from all the airplanes upside down and a couple of airplanes blowing through fences and whatnot, found my Tahoe had one of our hanger doors on top of it,” he said.

Clean-up crews had to use a heavy piece of machinery to get the door off Edmonson’s SUV. He says he isn’t worried about his ride, but rather the extensive damage done to hangers and planes.

“I’ve seen high winds come through here, but this is impressive where it folded up doors over top of the hangers, blew doors open, flipped airplanes open where one plane right here is perfect and the next one right next to it is destroyed,” he said. “I mean they’re side by side. One is flipped over, the other one — not a scratch. It is amazing what happened here last night.”

Denton police did a walkthrough of the airport and say no one was injured.

Airport officials say it's too soon to put a dollar amount on the damage. It could take up to two weeks for some of the structures to be repaired, the airport said.

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