Eufaula Airport receives $2.5 million for tornado damage

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EUFAULA, Ala. (WTVY) -- The Eufaula Airport was demolished by a tornado on March 3rd, but now new hangars are in the works.

A grant from the federal aviation administration will help fund other improvements.

Recovery efforts are well underway after the airport received $2,500,000 from insurance for the hangars destroyed.

Additional improvements will be made with a grant the city has recently received.

"It was just a wall of water coming towards the airport you couldn't see the tornado. It was embedded in the water," said Eufaula Airport Manager Eric Langham.

The tornado ripped through the airport hangars leaving them in ruins…and taking some of the debris more than 70 miles away.

"When the tornado came through it essentially annihilated all this," said Eufaula Mayor Jack Tibbs

The tornado also left the north side fire station in ruins.

"We had two firemen in the station when it hit and it devastated the station within minutes," said Tibbs

The airport's fuel truck was not usable along with other airport equipment.

"The tornado took out our navigation system. It took out our weather reporting system. It also took out our runway lights. All our infrastructure was gone," said Langham

Fort Rucker has donated $203,000 to the national weather service to replace the weather reporting system. Insurance will help cover the cost of new hangars.

"We're getting brand new buildings. These will be state of the art buildings, the latest engineering. We had some buildings at the airport that were easily 50 years old," said Langham.

The airport already has 18 airplanes lined up for the 20 spots open in the hangars.

"We're actually coming back with more aircraft than we had when the tornado hit because our infrastructure for storing airplanes is going to be superior to what we had," said Langham.

The FAA grant will provide runway lights and resurfacing.

City leaders hope to have the hangars, repaving, and fire station done by the end of the year.

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