High Winds Demolish Hotel

Friday, May 2nd 2008, 10:03 am
By: News On 6

In Owasso, winds reached as much as 80 miles per hour. They packed a punch that knocked a hotel under construction to the ground.

News On 6 anchor Latoya Silmon reports what was supposed to be a four-story, 89 room, and 49,000 square feet Marriott Hotel is now nothing more than a pile of rubble and it's turning heads.

It's the talk of the town, but some people in Owasso just had to see it for themselves.

"I'm just taking a picture of it.  I live right down the hill, and it's just crazy.  Mom called me and said the hotel they'd been building forever is gone," said Alex Nance.

The workers had completed a third of the project, and were ready to put up the roof but high winds came through and blew it all down, now they're back at square one.

"It's a complete loss.  Devastation of everything we've done at this point," said Ron Weathers of Lassiter-Richey Company.

Weathers says in the 20 years he's been in construction he's never seen anything like it. It's also a first for Robert Patel, the hotel's owner.

"We'll just rebuild and get it going again," said Patel.

But for now, dozens of people are out of work, one subcontractor is out of a truck and there's no telling how long it will be before Patel's vision becomes a reality.

"It's good for the economy of Owasso and for, you know, the businesses here. And it was a nice picture to look like," said Ann Gray.

The project is insured and investigators are surveying the damage.

The president of the construction company expects damage estimates to exceed a million dollars.

A News On 6 viewer submitted several pictures to YouNewsTV of the damage.

If you have pictures or videos from Thursday evening's storms, share them on YouNewsTV.