Though he saw it happen, Chad Feldpouch was not sure whether sections of a hangar complex at Vandalia Airport were hit by straight-line winds or a small tornado last Wednesday evening.
Feldpouch, manager of the airport, was getting ready to leave his hangar at the airport when the storm started arriving.
“I had just pulled my truck out (of the hangar) and I was getting ready to shut the door, and the power was flickering,” Feldpouch said.
“I was standing there, waiting for the power to stay on so I could finish closing the door, and all of a sudden, you could just see it,” he said.
“I said to Kelly (his wife), ‘Get the dog, get in the truck.’
“We jumped in the truck and pulled around the corner (of the hangar), and you couldn’t see anything – it was just like a wall.
“So, I backed up and I thought, which way do I go?” Feldpouch said.
“Then, you just see it, it was gone, that hangar’s gone,” he said.
Feldpouch said that the storm “just picked it (the hangar) up.
“I saw rotation,” he said. “I can’t say that I saw a funnel cloud, but I saw rotation. There was actually stuff spinning.
“I don’t know where it came from, but you could see it was carrying tree limbs, parts of trees, when it came through there,” Feldpouch said.
“Then, it was over just like that,” he said.
Four sections of the oldest hangar complex were ripped from the foundation, and a fifth sustained major damage.
Sections of that hangar complex were thrown against the hangar complex to the east, and a plane in one of the hangars was blown out and flipped onto its top.
Gary and Peggy Schulze, driving from their home in Shafter Township, were on Airport Road, coming from the west toward the airport when the storm hit.
“You couldn’t see anything,” Peggy Schulze said.
However, she did remember seeing one thing. “We were driving and a tree came out of the ground right next to us. It almost hit us.”
Kendra Craig, Fayette County Emergency Management Agency coordinator, reported to the scene, and said at that time that she had learned of trees and power lines down, as well as some damage to nearby homes, but no major damage.