...Businesses Torn Apart...

  • E-Mail this Article
  • View Printable Article
  • Text size:

    • A
    • A
    • A

Every building on the Punta Gorda (Charlotte County) airport was damaged, Bertorelli said. "A large steel hangar south of the terminal area collapsed entirely ... Aircraft of various sizes were scattered across the airport's broad terminal ramp area, and at least four had been blown into the terminal walls." Several rows of T-hangars were demolished, taking airplanes, cars and even a boat or two with them. At Eastern Avionics, a major avionics dealer, the roof of the sales office was damaged. Aircraft Depot, a local repair shop, lost both doors of its hangar and the aircraft inside were piled in a twisted heap. Power lines were down everywhere, and officials didn't know how long it would take to restore electricity. The airport was open Saturday for relief flights, primarily as a staging area for a fleet of helicopters being used for damage survey and patrol work. The airport was also being used by a large number of tree-clearing and utility crews. USA Today reported that at the Port Charlotte airport, small planes were stacked and snapped apart "like toys cast off by an angry child."