SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A family of seven escaped serious injury Wednesday when a tree fell on their house in southwest Shreveport.
It happened as storms passed over the ArkLaTex that afternoon.
The two adults and five children took shelter in a bathroom of their house in the 2900 block of Salem Drive in the city’s Southern Hills neighborhood.
Now they are trying to salvage the contents of their home.
About 17 miles to the southeast, Wilbert Bowers says he moved just in time to avoid being hit by a tree that fell on his house in the 2300 block of White Springs Road in Frierson.
He was in his kitchen when he went to the television in his living room to see what KSLA Chief Meteorologist Jeff Castle was saying about the storms.
It’s then that Bowers says the tree fell into the kitchen area of his home.
An emergency manager says a possible tornado destroyed a mobile home on Winborne Farm Road five miles south of Ruston about 5:53 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.
First responders reported residential damage on Cook Road in Bethany, close to Buncombe Road, about five miles southwest of Greenwood at 3:30 p.m., according to the National Weather Service office in Shreveport.
And then there’s damage to this home in Bossier Parish:
Elsewhere, there have been multiple reports of downed trees, tree limbs and utility lines.
Fallen trees forced the closure of U.S. Highway 79 between Bethany and Greenwood about 3:30 p.m., according to a report to the Weather Service.
A segment of U.S. Highway 371 in Columbia County, Ark., was closed as firefighters fought a fire about a mile south of Taylor.
Authorities report that lightning struck one of several tanks at a natural gas refinery site. The tank that was struck was empty but the fire is burning off fumes.
Firefighters were concerned that a truck and another tank nearby might get too hot and catch fire as well.
A downburst about 4:35 p.m. felled trees along Arkansas Highway 82 about nine miles east of Magnolia in Columbia County, an emergency manager told the Weather Service.
Among road hazards reported in Caddo Parish were:
- Louisiana Highway 538 at Dawes Road
- LA 538 between North Croom Street and Dawes Road.
- U.S. Highway 79 at Buncombe Road
- Buncombe Road between Country Lake Lane and Madeline Circle
- Louisiana Highway 170 interchange at Gamm Road
- Keatchie-Marshall Road at Preston Road
Among utility lines reported down in Shreveport were:
- Bert Kouns Industrial Loop at Dean Road
- Sara Lane between Mackey Lane and Alkay Drive
- West 80th Street between St. Vincent Avenue and Dowdell Street
- West 81st Street at Linwood Avenue
- Aaron Place at Cornelious Lane
Remark: highway 79 closed due to falling trees between bethany and greenwood.
At one point, there were as many as eight tornado warnings in place as the line of storms bore down on the ArkLaTex.
An employee of the National Weather Service office in Shreveport reported at 60-mph downburst south of East 70th Street in Shreveport at 3:57 p.m. Wednesday.
About the same time, an emergency manager reported that school buses were forced to turn around to avoid flash-flooded roads at Lewisville in Lafayette County, Ark.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.