Texoma State Park airstrip to reopen

By: Helen Headlee Email
By: Helen Headlee Email

MARSHALL COUNTY, OK -- Not long ago, the airstrip in Lake Texoma State Park landed about 25 planes a month. But the skies are silent since it shut down on May 17th.

Representative Tommy Hardin explains why they closed it down.

"On the south end of the runway there's several cracks and the grass has grown up in there in the cracks and everything," Hardin said. "So that was their concern, the safety of the aircraft landing and all."

The county plans on borrowing a crack sealing machine to save money as they fix the runway. The billl should come to about $10,000 to $15,000.

Texoma Volunteer Fire Department chief Jere Zimmerman explains the cost is well worth it, and getting the airstrip fixed quickly is a top priority.

"If you need a med evac and a helicopter can't get here because of the weather and it's really a necessity to fly somebody out they'll bring a fixed-wing in. And this runway will take it."

But he said that can't happen right now.

Med evac helicopters can still use the airstrip, but with the taxi lights shut off and wind sock gone, Zimmerman says it's tough.

"All that is gone and shut down, and you're just coming in the dark," Zimmerman said.

So to improve the airstrip's safety the county plans on spraying the grass in the cracks with herbicide Monday or Tuesday and starting to seal the cracks within two weeks.

Then the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission can let the repairs fly.
Hardin hopes the strip reopens soon, especially after the disappointing delay of construction by Pointe Vista.

"Then the airport closes down and it's just another slap in their face they feel, that they're not being looked after as part of the state," he said.

Marshall county commissioners hope to have the airstrip back open by the third or fourth week of August.


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