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Monday, July 28, 2014

Wichita planemakers suffered significant damage

BY BILL WILSON
The Wichita Eagle

Three major Wichita planemakers took significant hits from the storm, according to company representatives.

In a mid-morning Sunday briefing, Spirit AeroSystems spokeswoman Debbie Gann said company officials and structural engineers are working to pinpoint damage.

“Some buildings sustained significant damage. Others none at all,” Gann said.

Spirit has suspended operations and employees have been asked to stay home Sunday, Gann said. A determination about future shift work will be made once a damage estimate is completed and power is restored.

Spirit’s neighbor, Boeing, took a “direct hit,” spokesman Forrest Gossett said Sunday morning.

And one building at Hawker Beechcraft lost part of a roof, company spokeswoman Sarah Estes said Sunday. “Limited and isolated” damage occurred to the roof of the Plant IV manufacturing facility on Greenwich and repair is under way, Estes said.

No other buildings or aircraft were damaged, and regular shift work should resume on Monday.

Two south Wichita QuikTrip stores that sustained minor damage in Saturday night’s tornado are closed, primarily due to lost power, company officials in Tulsa confirmed Sunday morning.

The convenience chain’s stores at Pawnee and Rock and Harry and Webb were in two of the hardest-hit areas by the storm, but QT spokesman Mike Thornbrugh said damage was largely confined to signs and gas pump canopies. There were no injuries at either store, Thornbrugh said.

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