AUSTIN (KXAN) — Daylight is bringing more reports of damage and destruction in the wake of severe storms that rapidly tore through Central Texas Sunday night and early Monday morning.
The National Weather Service determined two tornadoes ripped through southeast Williamson County, damaging more than 20 homes and knocking over a train.
KXAN’s First Warning Weather Team says the storm quickly moved through with wind gusts of anywhere from 50 to 70 mph. At Austin-Bergstrom International Airport the winds clocked in at 56 mph. The worst of the storm cleared the metro area by 12:45 a.m.
According to a tweet from @TornadoTrackers, there was severe wind damage in the area just south of Kyle around Interstate 35 near County Road 140. The pictures taken show downed trees and signage. One homeowner who lives on Dacy Lane in Kyle says their shed was destroyed and there are downed power lines in the area.
The Hays County Office of Emergency Management is asking residents to document damage from the storm by sending an email with the location, description, and any pictures to ReportHaysStormDamage@co.hays.tx.us
This information will assist in determining the severity and path of the storm. This is for information gathering only and is not the way to report damage for insurance or financial assistance purposes.
A KXAN viewer also sent photos of a storage business in Elgin that sustained some roof damage. The area of Elgin did see some rotation, but no confirmed tornado was spotted.
Clifford Power Systems in south Austin sustained roof damage when powerful winds ripped the roof off of the business leaving the metal mangled to pieces around midnight. No one was injured during the storm.
The storm also brought lightning strikes that might have caused several house fires. One house fire started just after midnight in the 4400 block of Creede Drive in southeast Austin. When firefighters arrived, there was heavy fire coming from the home. Everyone was able to get out safely.
In southeast Travis County, the American Red Cross was assessing damage in the Mustang Ridge area and Pocmont Trail, where KXAN spoke with neighbors taking in the devastation. Preliminary numbers show the storm impacted nearly a dozen homes on Pocmont Trail and another 10 or so in Mustang Ridge.
“It felt like a bulldozer was coming through the back door. It was that loud.” Jeanette Mouser recalled. “For the winds to hit that hard and fast in like minutes, I really thought that was it… we’ve had a lot of bad storms, but nothing like that.”
A couple homes down, Mouser’s neighbor described her experience. “I just felt the house go up and went down and when it went down, I went down with it. I fell to the floor.”
All she and her family could do was get to the bathroom, hold each other close, and hope. “I’m just so grateful that nothing happened to my kids, because it that moment that I was in my restroom with my husband and my kids, I just I honestly thought the worst. Honestly.”
Across the street, there were signs of another scare. “My back porch was all over on top of the roof of my house,” Alicia Garcia told KXAN. “In these situations, you think about everything. It’s your house. It’s your baby. You don’t care about material stuff.”
It’s that line of thinking that resonates with all three neighbors. “We’re just lucky to be alive,” Mouser said.
To report damage to the Red Cross or seek assistance, call 512-928-4271.
Power outages were not extensive. Austin Energy is reporting that 97 percent of their customers now have power restored. As of 6 p.m., about 700 Austin Energy customers are still without power. Bluebonnet Electric had close to 5,000 customers without power around 5 a.m. but that number was down to 30 customers 12 hours later.