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One year later: Round Rock mayor, resident reflect on March 2022 tornado

On March 21, 2022, an EF-2 tornado touched down in Round Rock, damaging hundreds of homes.

ROUND ROCK, Texas — One year ago, on March 21, 2022, the city of Round Rock, Texas, was hit by an EF-2 tornado. The storm caused more than $32 million in damage, according to the mayor, and nearly 700 homes were impacted. 

"But we didn't have a loss of life," Round Rock Mayor Craig Morgan said. "Which was much more important because homes can be replaced, and cars can be replaced. You know, people can't be."

A year after the storm, KVUE caught up with Morgan and a survivor of the tornado. Both vividly remember the day the storm hit. 

"I was trying to take a nap," said Richard Parson, a Round Rock resident. "I heard a lot of noise and jumped up to go see what was going on."

Parson then looked out the window and saw his fence flying through the air. 

"Then I looked across the street, and that house was practically gone," he said. "The walls had imploded, so I didn't even know if they were alive, and their roof was in the trees somewhere. And then the enormity of it hit me."

Since then, almost all of the homes in the Kensington Place neighborhood have been repaired. But some still await final touches. 

"We had massive volunteers," Morgan said. "They got in and helped clean these neighborhoods that were hit. And so ... that part of it was the easy part. But people getting their lives back and getting back to where there's some normalcy, you know, may take years."

Some residents, like Parson, are still shaken up from that day. 

"I have PTSD: Post-Tornado Stress Disorder," Parson said. "Because last night, with all the weather reports, I was conscious of it. And I heard some loud noises, and it probably was a train or a plane, but it triggered me."

While his neighborhood is back to normal, every time Parson hears loud noises or experiences bad weather, he's taken back to the day the tornado hit. 

But despite everything that happened, Morgan is proud of how far the city has come. 

"I am just grateful for our citizens," he said, adding, "I say, 'What makes Round Rock special? It's people.' And it truly is. And I know other mayors say that about their cities, but I've seen it and I've experienced it."

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