June 01, 2011 Edition

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Winds cause damage in
airport industrial park area



Jerry Winters, manager of the Walnut Ridge Country Club, shows where winds blew off a large section of the metal roof on the country club building. The winds also dislodged the electric meter and heating and cooling units from the back of the building.
TD Photo ~ John Bland
A storm system passed through Lawrence County last Wednesday around 4:45 p.m. and caused sporadic damage, mostly in the Walnut Ridge Regional Airport and Industrial Park area and in parts of Walnut Ridge.

Jerry Winters, manager of the Walnut Ridge Country Club, said he and other employees were present when winds tore off a large section of a sloped metal roof on the clubhouse. "The main thing is that nobody was hurt," Winters said.

The building, located near the airport, originally had a flat roof, but a sloped metal roof was added at a later time. The original roof and ceiling were still intact. The winds also dislodged the electric meter and heating and cooling units from the back of the building and bent an antenna.

The winds also demolished a line of sheds, owned by the city, that had formerly housed golf carts at the former golf course. Sheets of metal and contents from the sheds were strewn across a chain link fence and unto the grounds of V&B Manufacturing.

Harold Johnson, board chairman of the Wings of Honor Museum, reported that a small garage-type door was blown off its hinges at the back of the museum, located across from the airport terminal.

Winds blew over a Federal Express trailer that was sitting near the museum, damaged garage doors at West Small Machine Shop and Iron Mountain Metal Works, damaged a garge door at V& B Manufacturing and tore off sections of roofing at Custom-Pak, all in the airport industrial park.

Walnut Ridge Mayor Don House reported that a couple of airplanes, owned by Universal Assets Management (UAM) and parked at the airport, rolled sideways. Most of the UAM-owned planes were chained down before the winds hit, he said.

House said the winds caused partial electrical power outages in the Walnut Ridge area, but by midnight, most of the power was restored. Portions of the Walnut Ridge School were without power until the following morning.

At Stewart Park, a concrete block ball field dugout collapsed, and there was also minor fencing damage due to the winds, House added.

The TD also received reports of roof and other damage at The Plaza Center on Hwy. 67B North.

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