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Efforts to inspect El Paso’s damaged ‘Old Glory’ flag site thwarted by high winds

EL PASO, Texas -- A repair crew's efforts to inspect El Paso's 'Old Glory' landmark were thwarted on Wednesday by vicious cross winds that rolled down from the Franklin Mountains.

An inspection team was lifted by crane up the 180-foot pole but was slowed by the wind.

Those winds continued to increase as the basket neared the top of the pole, creating unsafe circumstances for the crew inside.

What was supposed to be an all-day inspection of the flag pole was ended in less than an hour.

The flag site itself has been hit by countless storms since it first went up in December of 2003.

However, until a proper inspection can be made, there is no way to know how much those repairs will cost.

"They will have to drill into areas of the pole to check for rusting and the integrity of the metal," said Tony Lewis, who oversees the site and its maintenance. "It is a full day process going up and coming down. It is time consuming and we have to do it right. We only have one chance at this."

The teams will try to carry out another inspection early Thursday morning when weather conditions are expected to be calmer.

Organizers are asking for donations in order to pay for the repairs. If you would like to donate click here.

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Michael Gordon

Michael Gordon is an ABC-7 reporter who co-anchors Good Morning El Paso weekends.

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