Storms take aim at Ben Wheeler - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Storms take aim at Ben Wheeler

BEN WHEELER, TX (KLTV) - Storms trampled nearly every home on Van Zandt County Road 4702, including a farmhouse that's been in Karen Walker's family for decades.

"I just lost my husband and I lost another part of him. He loved this place. So, yet it's extremely hard," she said.

Walker says she was stunned when she saw her grandsons favorite tree uprooted.

"This tree is well over a hundred years old and you can see the roots are taller than I am and I'm tall," said Walker.

Surrounded by another fallen tree tangled in metal, neighbors clear more debris. Crews worked all day Wednesday to restore down power lines. As the storms moved through Tuesday night, people took cover wherever they could.

Nine people huddled in a storm cellar no bigger than a coat closet. Ruth Markham was in that storm cellar.

"That's where we all went and when that tornado came through, I've never been through a tornado in my whole entire life and I never want to feel that experience ever again," said Markham.

She says the house her late husband built can handle up to 180 mile winds. Only one window was shattered. The outside of the house, however, is a different story.

"It just took that shed and dragged it right through the whole front of the yard and clear into the trees over there," she said. "It's just like we're just amazed to see how it just drug it through."

Surrounded by destruction, people there are still looking for the good.

"I said my husband's baby picture is on the wall in there and of course we had no electricity and he managed to find that. We found the family bible and the family albums and that means a lot," said Walker.

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