Community works to recover Mesa schools, airport after severe storm

Jordan Bontke
3 Min Read

MESA, AZ — It’ll be months before parts of Mesa are back to normal after this week’s powerful storm damaged places like Falcon Field and Zaharis Elementary.

The community and city entities are working tirelessly to repair the two community staples.

”It’s going to be a lot of work, but I think we’re going to be alright,” said Jerry Guevara at Falcon Field.

Guevara can only watch a city of Mesa crews pick up debris left behind by Tuesday night’s powerful storm.

Once crews are done, he can do his own damage assessment on his business, Precision Heli-Support.

He can already see that some of his client’s planes will be grounded for a while.

His clients include the Mesa Police Department, Pinal County Sheriff’s Office, and medical choppers that serve the state. PCSO did confirm one of its aircraft was in the hangar during the storm but there was no damage.

On Wednesday, Falcon Field staff told ABC15 the storm damaged at least 20 aircraft and the early damage estimates are in the millions of dollars.

Storms leave path of destruction, flipping planes at Mesa’s Falcon Field Airport

Guevara hopes to find a temporary space to get his business back off the ground, but there’s no question the city will do the same for the hangar.

Not only is it a nationally registered monument, but inside Guevara’s office are mementos from when the hangar was used during WWII. Luckily, it was untouched in the storm.

On the other side of Loop 202, down McKellips Road at Zaharis Elementary, the grade school has utility workers instead of students inside as crews work to dry out classrooms.

Roof damage allowed rain inside, damaging various teaching tools throughout the entire campus.

ABC15 was told the school will close its doors to increase the heat and try to dry everything out before classes are scheduled to resume next Tuesday.

Meanwhile, students are either learning virtually or at another campus.

On Thursday morning, Red Mountain High School students, teachers, parents and staff helped pick up outdoor debris to help lighten the load.

“We are so excited for kids to come back on Tuesday hopefully, that’s the plan. And that’s the Mesa way,” said Jen Snyder with Mesa Public Schools.

Jordan Bontke

2023-09-15 01:40:24 , Mesa News

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