All flights on schedule as Lubbock airport cleans up - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

All flights on schedule as Lubbock airport cleans up


Cleanup is underway after an 8,000-foot-high wall of dust swept across the South Plains Monday.

Some of the worst of the damage was on the east side of the Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport. Flights were delayed for a short period of time.

The wind lifted the front of the fire station's training aircraft completely off the ground. Officials had to use a crane to bring the aircraft down.

"It was about 15 minutes of heck or hell if you will," Lubbock International Airport Spokesperson James Loomis said.

Loomis described watching the destruction as the winds blew in. He saw two planes overturned. The roof of a hanger and the fire station were completely ripped off.

"We knew this was no ordinary dust storm. This was small tornadic activity," Lt. Gavin Daniel said.

Daniel's shift started at the first station right when the dust devil started.

"We saw a third of our roof get blown across the back parking lot. It landed on several cars and ended up several yards away. We noticed some of our maintenance doors were blown in at that point,"  Daniel said.

Daniel also saw an air conditioning unit blow off of the traffic control tower.

"The air traffic control personnel had to evacuate the tower. They still controlled the traffic but had to do it down below in the radar room instead of the tower itself," Loomis said.

Security was also an issue.

"Our security system in the terminal building went crazy, so we had to post people at the entrances and exits to secure the area," Loomis said.

The Lubbock Auto Auction also saw a lot of damage. The wind ripped off their roof which was blown across more than 15 cars. The estimated damage cost is $1,000 per car.

Auto auction owner Charles Furr is picking up the glass, moving the roof, and hauling cars out of the way so business can go on as usual.

"We are having a sale this week. That won't keep us from having a sale," Furr said.

The airport is also back to normal with flights running on schedule.

Copyright 2011 KCBD NewsChannel 11

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