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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Severe storms rolled through the Central Texas area Tuesday afternoon, at a time when many people were on the roads for rush hour.
The First Warning Weather team said the main concern is very large hail, potentially up to the size of eggs or even tennis balls. Damaging winds and isolated tornadoes are also possible.
This severe weather threat comes less than one month after Central Texas was rocked by a widespread tornado outbreak on March 21. At least six tornadoes touched down in the KXAN viewing area that day, and some of the communities most affected by the storms were Elgin, Round Rock and Granger.
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Officials with the Bell County Sheriff’s Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety said there’s a lot of debris and power lines down on FM 2843 between Salado and Florence.
A Tornado Warning is in effect for northeastern Milam County until 8:30 p.m.
The National Weather Service for the Austin/San Antonio area canceled the Tornado Watch for Blanco, Burnet, Hays, Travis and Williamson Counties.
Williamson County said the sheriff’s office is sending deputies to Bell County to help with surveying the area for damage.
Below are some photos we got of very large hail north of our viewing area.
The Williamson County Office of Emergency Management released an update around 6:45 p.m. Tuesday. The office said it received reports of two possible tornadoes that touched down in the county earlier.
“One was north of Florence spotted at 5:24 p.m. and the other north of Jarrell spotted at 5:36 p.m.,” the office said.
The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office was able to close traffic both ways on Interstate 35 at mile marker 278 as the tornado could’ve crossed the highway. Some homes have reported minor damage, but EMS hasn’t transported any patients with injuries related to the storm.
“Williamson County is still under a Tornado Watch until 11 p.m. [Tuesday night], so we encourage our residents to stay tuned to local weather forecasts and know where to go if the tornado watch turns into a warning,” said Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell in a press release.
Photos from KXAN viewers of the tornado are still pouring in. Here’s one taken from near Jarrell High School.
In other parts of the KXAN viewing area — hail was reported in Leander. You can view more weather photos and videos from KXAN viewers online here.
The part of the storm that produced the tornado is moving outside the KXAN viewing area into Bell County.
A Severe Thunderstorm Warning is in effect for parts of Williamson County, including Georgetown and Bartlett until 6:45 p.m.
Viewer Chad D. from Jarrell sent in the below photos of the tornado spotted earlier.
Law enforcement blocked off northbound I-35 north Jarrell, just in case the part of the storm where the tornado is located passes over the highway. Storm chaser Jeff Mangum said the highway was at a stand still because of the closures.
A viewer sent in the below video from Florence of the storm rotating.
The city of Salado is north of where the tornado is passing through, and Shannon Sandell captured the below video of the tornado while looking south from that city.
A confirmed tornado was spotted by storm chaser Jeff Mangum northwest of Jarrell. He was driving on I-35 in Jarrell looking west, and the tornado was about four or five miles away from him. The tornado was near the Williamson County/Bell County line.
In eastern Burnet County, hail was reported in the area of Briggs.
A Tornado Warning was issued for the northernmost part of Williamson County, north of the city of Florence, until 5:45 p.m. The National Weather Service said IF there is a tornado within the storm, it would be crossing County Road 195 north of Florence.
KXAN Viewers began sending in some photos of developing storm clouds in their areas.
The National Weather Service issued a Tornado Watch for parts of Central Texas, including Travis, Williamson, Hays, Blanco and Burnet Counties, through 11 p.m. Tuesday.