High Winds Toss Planes, knock out power at Buchanan Airport
CONCORD, CA (Mar. 15, 2023) — A call to Buchanan Field Airport was one of numerous calls for service during Tuesday’s wind storm. Contra Costa County Fire Protection District personnel raced to respond throughout the latest round of stormy weather and heavy wind gust that descended on the area, according to Con Fire Public Information Officer Steve Hill.
The incident, involving two aircraft tipping over, occurred at the Pacific States Aviation’s ramp at the Concord airport. The incident was most likely the result of both planes not being secured properly when peak gusts blew at over 40 mph.
Airport Director Greg Baer confirmed that tied downs were not observed. He noted there were no stoppage of flights taking off from the airport. No other damage or injuries was identified. However, Baer noted that the east side of Buchanan Field lost power. It still remained out by the next day despite sunny skies and improved weather conditions.
Hill said the aircraft incident was quickly mitigated. The call to Buchanan Field came as the region at times was experiencing wind gusts reaching between 60 and 70 mph during the day. At one point, Hill noted that personnel were responding to nearly 100 incidents at the same time involving traffic accidents, downed trees, and downed power lines as well as EMS calls. “We took the unprecedented step of pressing our fire prevention inspectors and some staff officers into service to manage downed tree and wire incidents in order to free up fire crews for more critical incidents,” he said.
Con Fire’s Engine 7, shortly before 1 p.m., also was affected as it was hit by a fallen tree while responding to a downed wire incident in Walnut Creek. The unit experienced extensive damage. The crew, evaluated medically, was unharmed.
David Scholz divides his time between education, primarily teaching at the junior high level, and working as a freelance writer and photographer. Prior to moving into teaching in 2000, he worked as a full-time journalist since 1988 for rural community and small daily newspapers in Central Ohio and Northern Nevada, and later in California with The Business Journal in Fresno and dailies in the Bay Area, including The Oakland Tribune and The San Francisco Chronicle.