Storms Uproot Nearly 200-Year-Old Tree In Benton County

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Severe storms rolled through Benton County on Thursday night and knocked down a 60-foot tree that had stood near Avoca for nearly 200 years.

On Friday, Benton County road crews spent hours chainsawing the tree that fell across North Old Wire Road and blocked traffic. It was one of several damaged sites the crews had to clean up Friday.

“Probably 60 foot tall, 42 to 44 inches in diameter, 150- to 200-year-old tree," said Jack Brown, the superintendent of the Benton County Road Department. "Been there a long, long time."

Area residents said the tree was a landmark.

“Forty-three years that I know of, a really old tree,” said Peggy Swadley.

Crews also cleared a tree off Wimpy Jones Road in Garfield.

“Got another large tree like this one that's totally across the road and a car can drive under it and they are driving under it, which shouldn't be but a pickup can't get under it,” Brown said.

The storm rolled in at approximately 10 p.m. with lightning, rain and strong winds.

“The whole trailer shook but that was about it,” said Swadley.

“I heard like lightning hit but I didn't think anything of it so I was like I'm going back to sleep,” said Hailey Swadley, Peggy Swadley's granddaughter.

Two floods in the past months the last month have caused more than $1 million dollars of damage in the county. Officials say more flooding in Benton County could be disastrous.

“That would devastate everything that we repaired from the first and second flood and devastate us totally if we had 10 inches of rain in Benton County,” Brown said.