Benton residents begin cleaning up from tornado

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Butler Hill Road resident Andy Hydro sits on downed trees waiting for an insurance assessment from a tornado that struck the area June 19/20. (Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune)

By Stacey Tinsley, stinsley@bossierpress.com

Residents began cleaning up early Thursday morning after an EF-2 tornado hit the Butler Hill Road area in Benton late Wednesday/early Thursday. 

Damage included uprooted trees and downed power lines, as well as major damage to three homes in the 1800 block of Butler Hill Road. Several homes in the 1700 block also sustained damage from winds and falling trees.

Andy Hydro, who has lived at 1740 Butler Hill Rd for 19 years, said on Wednesday night around 11 p.m. he was watching the news and all of a sudden he heard a “hollow type sound.” He described it as the wind blowing hard and something like a train coming through the night near his living room window.

“I got up from my chair and looked out the window through the darkness and I could see debris flying through the air,” said Hydro. “It lasted only a second or two. It wasn’t that long.”

After the frightening sounds dissipated, Hydro and his two sons went outside to check to see what had transpired.

“After it was over, we came outside with flashlights and noticed all of the trees in my yard were down in my neighbor’s yard,” said Hydro. “Thankfully, nothing touched the house.”

A fallen tree near a home in the 1700 block of Butler Hill Road. (Sean Green/Press-Tribune)

Hydro said he was lucky to escape the damage that might have occurred, similar to what struck just a little further down the road. 

“We got up early (Thursday) morning and inspected the outside of the house. All we saw was a few shingles on the ground and some of the siding,” said Hydro. 

“Glen, one of my neighbors came running down after the storm to check in on us and asked if anybody needed any help. He’s been helping us cut trees all morning,” Hydro added.

He stated that he called his insurance company after looking at his property Thursday morning and he was waiting for them to show. 

“If we are cleaning this up on our own, it’s going to take months to clean all this mess up.”

On Thursday evening, The National Weather Service’s preliminary survey results showed that an EF-2 tornado hit the Butler Hill Road area late Wednesday/early Thursday in Benton. There were no reported injuries from the storms.