SULLIVAN, MO (KPLR) – The planes aren’t cleared for takeoff anytime soon. They’ve been grounded with serious structural damage, courtesy of Wednesday’s hail storm.
“Never seen it in my life, lived here all my life,” said airport mechanic Ken Palmer. “I’ve traveled the country all my life and never seen hail that big.”
It was just after lunch Wednesday when Ken Palmer had to take cover in an airplane hangar. Mother Nature was pounding the airport.
“You could it hear it from inside making a big popping noise,” Palmer said.
Palmer estimates it will cost more than $10,000 to repair the wing on a plane damaged by grapefruit-sized hail.
The sporadic ice pelting from above hit parts of Sullivan, including area homes, cars, and city trucks.
“Some of the city vehicles did have damage,” said J.T. Hardy, Sullivan City Administrator. “There was significant sized hail, golf ball to grapefruit-sized. We had a few windshields that were broken and significant dings and dents along the trucks.”
After the hail came down, the opportunists came out, and Hardy hopes to caution residents.
“There are people who come out, we call them storm chasers, they’re contractors or people who want to work on your home and they don’t have the proper licenses or permits or city business licenses, but they’ll go house-to-house and say they have the proper permits and they’ll ask if they can do an inspection of your home and then ask if they can do the repairs,” Hardy said. “That’s something to watch out for simply because they go from town-to-town.”