Clean-up begins after Tuesday's tornado

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Clean-up is underway today after a tornado touched down in Hendricks and Marion Counties on Tuesday. Winds close to 100 mph damaged homes, some significantly, but no injuries were reported.

The National Weather Service says the first significant damage from the storm was at ADESA, a vehicle auction facility near US 40 and Ronald Reagan Parkway, around 2:30 p.m. A building was heavily damaged and more than 200 cars were impacted by flying debris. Some minor straight line wind damage was seen west of the auction facility near Township Line Road and Smith Road.

The tornado traveled northeast, damaging nearly two-dozen homes in Hendricks County, along CR 200 South near CR 1050 East. A camping trailer was tossed through the air into a home, tearing off a significant portion of the roof of the house.

From there, the tornado continued tracking through the Bentwood subdivision, to the Cameron Meadows subdivision in Indianapolis. The tornado was still classified as an EF-1 as it tore through the subdivision, with winds estimated at 95 to 100 miles an hour.

The tornado lifted at approximately 2:40 p.m., but the storm's straight-line winds caused at least minor damage to 75 to 100 homes from I-465 at Rockville Road all the way to Speedway.

Wayne Township Fire Department Capt. Mike Pruitt said three to four homes suffered roof damage and several others had siding taken off or windows knocked out, but no one was injured.

"We were fortunate that a lot of people had gone to work and the people that were home had received extensive warnings," Pruitt said.

Homeowner Wilber Benitez and his neighbors began the clean-up early Wednesday. A huge tree was picked up by the storm and thrown into the side of his home.

"The tree from the front of the house flew into the side of the house," Benitez said.

The heavy branches punched a whole inside the living room wall, just inches away from his big screen TV.

"I never thought it could happen, but it happens," he said.

Benitez is just happy his family wasn't home during the destruction.

He put a tarp up to keep the rain out, while he waits for an insurance adjuster to come look at the damage.

"I think it was just spinning and hit the house over there and just landed right into my living room over here and now it's time to clean up," Benitez said.

That clean-up is a family affair, as his son and daughter pick up debris scattered around the yard.

But there is a warning when it comes to the bigger jobs, as storm clean-up can become an easy target for thieves.

"They circle on events like this, so make certain, make sure you are working with your insurance company to find credible people to do the restoration on your home," said Pruitt. "If they don't have proper credentials, call and check on these individuals. If they do come knocking on your door, we just don't want anyone to get taken advantage of in situations like this."