Demolition crews to begin removing destroyed hangers at Hickory Airport

HICKORY, NC (WBTV) - In the week since a tornado destroyed two hangers at the Hickory Regional Airport, broken aircraft and other debris have been removed from the site.

Two hangers still sit as twisted metal monuments to what happened. That will start to change on Wednesday.

"That's when the cleanup will begin," said Airport Operations Manager David Clark.

A demolition crew will arrive to cut up the steel girders and aluminum and haul it all away. The operation could take a week or more to finish.

After that, Clark says the area will be paved until plans are finalized to build a new hanger.

Ten aircrafts were destroyed as one hanger was lifted by the tornado and slammed into a second hanger.

What's left of those aircrafts are being dismantled by a company that will take the parts to auction. Todd Thaxton of Atlanta Air Recovery said the cost of putting the aircraft back in flying condition is prohibitive.

"Not worth fixing," he said.

As bad as the damage was, it could have been worse, said officials. Other hangers nearby were not damaged nor was the control tower or the airport terminal building.

Some of the vintage aircraft on display on the tarmac for the Hickory Aviation Museum have some small dents and cracks but officials say everything can be repaired.

As for a dollar estimate of the damage at the airport, city officials said adjusters are still working on a figure and it could be a week or more before they know.

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