Boom from air show rehearsal shatters windows, rattles nerves
9OYS newsroom flooded with calls about damage to retirement center and businesses
Reporter: Marcelino Benito
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The KGUN9 Newsroom was flooded with calls about a loud boom heard on Friday afternoon. The people who experienced it are calling it a "sonic boom" that caused quite the damage on the east side.
"It was louder than anything I'd heard before," said Barbara Schimskey, of Atria Valley Manor, a retirement home on Tucson's east side. "I thought it was a bomb, but older people don't usually make bombs so I thought it couldn't be that."
The silence at this east side retirement center was broken along with nine different windows. 9OYS was told it was the result of six F-16's flying overhead during a rehearsal for the "Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona" Show that will kick-off tomorrow. The sonic boom shattered glass and frazzled nerves.
"One lady wanted me to get a hold of a nurse because she was worried about her heart," Schimskey said.
Eighty-seven-year-old Barbara Montgomery's heart didn't skip a beat, despite a broken window inside her home. She tells 9OYS she was never really scared because she'd felt sonic booms before.
Tonight, her windows, along with eight others in the retirement center and countless others on the east side of Tucson have their windows boarded up, and they'll stay that way through the weekend.
"It's a bit of an inconvenience because none of the glass shops in town are working this weekend," Schimskey said. "So instead of light coming, they'll have wind and a dark board to look at."
9OYS found more damage just one block north of the retirement center. The 99 Cents store on Pima and Craycroft took a hit, and so did the salon right next door.
Reporter Marcelino Benito asked "what'd you hear?" Stylist Pam Rognlien said, " This huge boom. I thought the building was coming down. I just dropped to the floor."
The shopping center at 5831 E. Speedway spent most of the afternoon picking up the glass and boarding up their windows. Several storefronts were damaged, but at least one was somewhat spared.
"This is the only one that shattered, the other window is just fine," said Jordan Menza, of Showtime Cards. "I guess we're one of the lucky ones."
Others like the folks at Steps, Dance and Fitness weren't so lucky. Owner Melissa Watkins like many others are left wondering who's going to pay for the damage.
Anyone wishing to make a claim due to property damage, please contact the 355th Fighter Wing Claims office at 520-954-0146 or the 355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs office at 520-228-3406. Claims representatives will be sent to assess damage at your convenience. For more information click here.