SPICEWOOD, TX (KXAN) - Nearly 16 years after a series of tornadoes hit Central Texas, the people who survived the storms remember the day vividly.
On May 27, 1997, an F-5 tornado hit the town of Jarrell in Williamson County, killing 27 people. Just 30 minutes earlier, an F-3 tornado claimed one life in Cedar Park.
Also that day, an F-4 tornado formed on Lake Travis. Packing winds in excess 166 mph, it was the largest tornado in Travis County's history.
Witnesses described the Pedernales Valley tornado as a multi-vortex twister that destroyed the Siesta Shores Marina. It also destroyed David Butler's home.
Butler and his family survived the storm by huddling inside the home's bathtub.
"I felt the wall behind the bathtub start slowly coming in," Butler said. "[It was] like there were some guys on the other side just pushing it in."
Surviving The Storm Airs:
- Saturday March 30 at 6:30 p.m. on KXAN
- Sunday March 31 at 6 p.m. on KBVO
- Sunday March 31 at 9:30 p.m. on the CW Austin
After the storm passed, Butler and his family climbed out to find their home completely destroyed. Still, they were lucky. His neighbor, a young man who just got out of the Navy, died that day.
You can hear Butler's full story plus learn what to do if a tornado hits your home by watching Surviving The Storm on KXAN Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m.
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