By Preethi Mangadu
Web Content Contributor
Over twenty reports of tornadoes were received from Central Texas after a severe weather outbreak emerged on Monday, March 21, 2022. Many counties and cities were affected, including Austin, Round Rock, and College Station areas.
On Tuesday, March 22, 2022, Gov. Greg Abbott declared a severe weather disaster declaration for 16 counties across Texas.
In a press conference, Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said two tornados were suspected to have touched down near Round Rock and Jarell. The tornado in Round Rock was said to have come down at the intersection of Interstate 35 and State Highway 45 and traveled for 24 miles.
According to Round Rock Police Chief Allen Banks, there was “severe structural damage” due to the suspected tornado but no known deaths or serious injuries in Round Rock.
One death was confirmed in Grayson County on Tuesday morning. The victim was Viranda Rodgers, a 73-year-old woman whose home on Sherwood Shores was destroyed.
Many businesses and homes were hit and damaged because of the suspected tornados. In Williamson County alone, at least 1,000 homes were damaged or destroyed.
Around 50,000 customers in Texas were also left without power on Monday according to PowerOutage.us.
Many counties in Texas were under a tornado watch including Gillespie County, Hays County, Bastrop County, Caldwell County, Lee County, Blanco County, Travis County, Llano County, Burnet County, Williamson County, and more.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has sent out teams to four areas in Texas to survey the damage. According to preliminary data, the suspected tornado’s damage in Round Rock indicates the strength of an EF 2. Nonetheless, the majority of damage supports the strength of an EF 1.
During a news conference on Monday, Gov. Abbott said that the damage was “devastating” and that the state of Texas will stand “shoulder to shoulder” with those who have been affected.
The severe weather outbreak has passed in Texas, but in now throughout the Deep South. A tornado touched down in New Orleans on Tuesday night and heavily damaged homes, killed at least one person, prompted search and rescues for those trapped in homes, and caused power outages.
The parent storm is said to moved to the southeast on Wednesday with thunderstorms and a slight risk for severe weather. For more information, visit the NWS website.
Featured Image by Preethi Mangadu
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