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Friday, May 6, 2016

Tornado bounty in Billmore

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Junior Roberts with items he found from Highland and Mountain View, Ark.
BILLMORE -- Junior Roberts was in his basement at his home near Billmore when he heard something that sounded like a jet plane go over his house.

"It wasn't a tornado, but it was a big wind. It was about 7:20 p.m. It rained probably an inch and one-half in 30 to 40 minutes," Roberts said. He said his home never lost electricity but the lights did flicker.

This was the night of Feb. 5; the night Highland, Ash Flat and several other towns in Arkansas were devested by a massive tornado.

Roberts was not prepared for what he saw come daylight the following day when he went out to feed his cattle. His farm was covered with debris from Mountain View, Ark. and Highland.

"I found a set of curtains, a pillow wrapped around a tree, checks and canceled checks from Mountain View, Highland, Hardy and Cherokee Village," Roberts said.

Roberts estimates there is at least 100 miles between Mountain View and Billmore and at least 40 or 50 miles between Highland and Billmore.

Insulation and pieces of sheet are iron scattered all over his farm; items that were not there Feb. 4.

"I find something new every day," he said.

His farm is now littered with a roof, a side of a barn and parts of a house or barn are caught in the branches of a tree.

He found buckets, movies, pictures and now has a large baggie filled with personal checks and bills of sales from another state, belonging to people he doesn't know.

Roberts said two items he has found he will try and return to the owners.

One is a sign from the Dr. Lamoureaux Medical Clinic that was located near the Midway Plaza at Highland. "It is a large sign and doesn't have a scratch on it," Roberts said.

Another item is what he thinks is someone's personal history. It is a laminated news article he believes was saved from a Mountain View newspaper dated October 2007 about a mechanic. It too is in perfect condition. The man's name on the article is Dwain Nesbitt.

Robert's says he's not sure what he is suppose to do or will do with the rest of the items such as the checks.

Right now Roberts says he's spending a lot of time picking up insulation, wood, plywood and sheet metal from his fields so his cows won't eat it or get hurt on it.

Roberts says that seeing all these pieces of other people's life has made him more thankful for what he has.

"I can't say enough how thankful I am for my home, barns, fences, cows, and family. Some of those people lost everything," he said.

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