CENTRAL TEXAS (KXAN) — A tornado outbreak in Central Texas destroyed parts of the communities of Round Rock and Elgin, plus their surrounding areas. Crews from the National Weather Service were surveying the damage Tuesday and making determinations on how many tornadoes actually turned down and their intensity.
If you need help
The City of Austin and Travis County offered several resources for residents who are cleaning up the aftermath of Monday’s severe storms.
- Residents who find damage to their home can contact the Red Cross for assistance at 1-800-REDCROSS, or 1-833-583-3115.
- Residents affected by the storms can call the Austin Disaster Relief Network Disaster Survivor hot line at 512-806-0800.
- The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) said residents can report damage through the Individual State of Texas Assessment Tool (iSTAT) Damage Survey tool. The survey can be filled out in English or Spanish.
- Austin/Travis County residents who need assistance with storm debris can call 311 or 512-974-2000
- Austin/Travis County residents can also drop off brush at the Hornsby Bend Biosolids Management Plant.
- To report downed trees, Austin/Travis County residents can call 311 or 512-974-2000
“We have been coordinating very closely with our counterparts to ensure that we’re able to respond effectively to this situation,” said Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk in a press release. “I was in communication with the City Manager of Round Rock this morning offering support to ensure that they have the resources needed to assess damages and take care of their residents. This has been all hands on deck and we are fortunate that we have not sustained worse damage or fatalities that could have happened as a result of the storm.”
The city said it would also be providing support to neighboring cities and counties. Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services provided rapid assessment assistance and units to support operations in the City of Round Rock.
Residents who were affected by the outbreak in Elgin and the Bastrop County area are able to get help with local clean-up, repair and other damage assistance by calling the Bastrop Long Term Recovery hotline at 512-303-4300 and select “damages and assistance for repairs,” according to the Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management.
The city of Taylor is opening a multi-agency resource center at the Williamson County Expo Center at 5350 Bill Pickett Trail in the expo hall to provide short and long-term resources for those affected, including clothes, food, help for children and youth, recovering documents, removing debris, help for animals, financial help and housing help. It will be open:
- Tuesday, March 29, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Wednesday, March 30, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Thursday, March 31, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Austin Disaster Relief Network also has a ADRN Disaster Survivor Hotline at 512-806-0800 that can help those who can’t make it to the center.
The YMCA has also opened Austin-area locations to tornado victims who may need a shower or a place to store their possessions starting Friday and through April 1. More details on the participating YMCA locations can be found here.
How you can help
The City of Round Rock said it was currently accepting donated items at the Dell Diamond Heritage Center located at 3400 E. Palm Valley Blvd.
The Austin Disaster Relief Network has set up with a relief fund that will support emergency needs for disaster survivors, including temporary housing, emergency supplies, food and other essentials.
ADRN is also asking for care kit donations. Care kits can be customized for men, women, children or entire families. Instructions on how to assemble them can be found online here. Once put together, those care kits can be dropped off at the Hope Family Thrift Store at 1122 E. 51st St. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Residents who need help from ADRN can call the Disaster Survivor Hotline at (512) 806-0800.
Help for pets
Austin Pets Alive! and the Positive Alternatives to Shelter Surrender program said it will also assist with finding temporary homes, food and other pet needs for those affected by the tornado outbreak in Round Rock, Elgin, Granger and surrounding areas.
“The Central Texas community has always been generous, helping pets and their people during times of need and crisis,” said Dr. Ellen Jefferson, President and CEO of Austin Pets Alive! in a press release. “We would like everyone helping with recovery efforts to reach out to us if they encounter people who
need additional assistance finding or taking care of their pets.”
AT&T helping out
AT&T said it’s waiving overage charges to provide unlimited text, talk and data for customers affected by tornadoes in both Texas and Louisiana. It starts Wednesday and goes through April 1 for the following zip codes in Texas:
The company said these zip codes cover the areas in Hutto, Elgin and Round Rock that were affected.