Locals Recall "Scary" Flights Home from Texas

Maintenance workers are trying to repair the planes that were on the ground in Dallas

By Lauren Petty
|  Wednesday, Apr 4, 2012  |  Updated 11:47 PM CDT
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Travels who were at the airport in Dallas when a deadly tornado struck share their story with NBC5 Charlie Wojciechowski after their flights arrive in Chicago.

Travels who were at the airport in Dallas when a deadly tornado struck share their story with NBC5 Charlie Wojciechowski after their flights arrive in Chicago.

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Locals Recall "Scary" Flights Home from Texas

NBC Chicago reporter Lauren Petty talks to area passengers flying back to O'Hare Airport from Texas after Tuesday's storms and tornadoes.
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The impact of the Texas tornadoes is being felt from the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport to airports in Chicago.

According to American Airlines, two flights out of O'Hare Airport to Dallas were cancelled following Tuesday's damaging tornadoes.

Maintenance workers are trying to repair the planes that were on the ground in Dallas when the tornadoes hit. A Dallas-Fort Worth Airport spokesperson said 110 planes were damaged by hail.

Bloomington, Ill., resident Ed Gildersleeve was on a plane waiting to take off from Texas when golf-size hail came down.

"The plane is like a tin can, so the sound was so loud," Gildersleeve said.

Edelmiro Alvarez, from Chicago, was inside the airport when a tornado was near. He said TSA shut down the security checkpoint and ushered passengers into a concrete stairwell.

"All of a sudden they told is run for cover, that there's imminent danger," Alvarez said. "It was scary. It was an experience I wouldn't want to go through again."

Newt Larson, who lives in Michigan, was driving to the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport when he saw a dark cloud.

"We found out later we were just a mile away from where the semis were up in the air," Larson said. "We saw what we thought was a funnel."

When he arrived to the airport, he was sent to the basement where he stayed for about four hours.

Delays there are still affecting Chicago. One traveler on his way to Ontario was supposed to fly from Des Moines, Ia., to Dallas and then to Ontario, but that flight was canceled. Instead his dad drove him five hours to O'Hare. He then flew to LAX and had to take a bus to his final destination.

"Right away we didn't know why our flight was canceled, so we were kind of frustrated," said William Kemp, "but after hearing that the tornadoes went through, we thought, it's understandable."

Heidi Gewartowski, from Bartlett, flew from Hawaii to Dallas Wednesday morning. She lucked out and happened to be on the first flight that made it out of Dallas.

Gewartowski said the airport was "crazy, people were on cots, even kids"

A spokesperson at Southwest Airlines, whose home base is at Love Field in the path of the storms, said Wednesday morning everything appears to be on time.

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