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Storm destroys historical plane in Prairie Du Chien

Plane dates back to the 1940s

PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, Wis. (WKBT) - Storms damaged parts of Crawford County on Wednesday, including a historical plane.

Frank Weeks' biggest prize is his plane that dates back to World War II.

"This was an artillery spotter, they put more Plexiglas in. The door will fall off by turning the handle so you can jump out in combat,” Weeks said.

Weeks' plane was built in the 1940s, but on Wednesday, high winds destroyed the hangar where his plane sat, damaging the back end of the aircraft. 

"There's damage to the fuselage, to the tail, to the elevator, to the wings,” Weeks said. “The airplane was excellent yesterday. But now it's not."

City officials said the airport sustained the worst damage.

"We've got a lot of downed wires, a lot of trees down. We had some building damage, mostly at the airport. We've got hangars there that have been destroyed,” said Prairie Du Chien city administrator Art Austin Jr.

Although the damage was significant, they said the damage is more consistent with straight-line winds.

"It came at a straight path, or in a straight line so it wasn't swirled around like you would expect on a path like that,” Austin Jr. said.

Weeks is devastated to see something that's been in his life for 50 years, damaged in such a short period of time.

"It was way worse than losing your favorite dog. It's a very sad thing because it's been a part of my adult life,” Weeks said.

As of now, Weeks is unsure if the damage to the plane can be repaired.

He said that the plane before the damage could have been worth several thousand dollars.


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