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How strong were the tornadoes that touched down in Central Texas?

The teams focused on four different areas in Central Texas that got significant damage. They shared preliminary data.

AUSTIN, Texas — After tornadoes were confirmed and reported across Central Texas on March 21, the National Weather Service stopped at several areas in the Austin area to assess the damage.

The severe weather threat has ended in Central Texas. Now, the NWS teams traveled to four different areas to determine whether tornadoes touched down and how strong they were.

No deaths have been reported in Central Texas after the tornado outbreak was reported, which Gov. Greg Abbott described as miraculous. However, both Williamson and Bastrop counties have since issued disaster declarations. The NWS reported Thursday evening more than a dozen injuries as a result of the tornadoes.

Here's a quick glance at the preliminary reports of the tornadoes that touched down across Central Texas on March 21: 

  • Round Rock to Granger: EF-2 tornado with winds of 111-135 mph and a track length of more than 35 miles
  • Elgin: EF-2 tornado with winds of 130 mph and a track length of 14 miles
  • Kingsbury to Stairtown: This was upgraded to an EF-2 tornado with a track length of 7.5 miles
  • Sun City to Jarrell: EF-1 tornado with winds of 100 mph
  • Giddings: EF-1 tornado with winds of 95 mph
  • Wimberley: No damage was found in Wimberley, so a tornado could not be confirmed by NWS crews

The story continues below.

Here's a breakdown of which areas the NWS teams traveled to:

Team one starting damage assessment in Round Rock, Texas after tornado touches down

One of the teams is going to be in Round Rock, Texas. That team will start in Round Rock and move northeast toward Hutto and Taylor, Texas, in Williamson County. 

According to preliminary data shared Tuesday night, the Round Rock tornado damage indicates it was an EF-2 at several locations. However, the majority of the damage is consistent with EF-1 strength. 

On Thursday, a report by the NWS said the tornado traveled nearly 30 miles and had a width of 500 yards. The tornado, referred to as the Round Rock-Granger tornado started just southwest of the I-35/I-45 interchange and moved through neighborhoods, past businesses and schools causing damage along the way. 

The NWS said 16 people were injured in the tornado, which started at 5:54 p.m. and ended at 6:35 p.m. 

One Round Rock woman is thankful after she says her neighbors pulled her from the rubble of her home following the storm.

Team two starting damage assessment in Jarrell

Another team will start in Jarrell, Texas, to assess the damage, where photos have surfaced of damage to different structures. Then, that team will head to Elgin, Texas, where videos of rotation has been reported.

Preliminary data shows the tornado at an EF-1 with winds around 100 mph. In Elgin, data shows an EF-2 tornado caused damage, with winds of 130 mph. The tornado there had a track length of 12 miles, the NWS said Thursday. 

The Elgin tornado resulted in damage to 109 residences and one business. Of those, 32 homes received major damage and 20 homes were destroyed. The business was also destroyed, per the report. Three injuries were also reported. 

This tornado started at 6:30 p.m. and lasted 20 minutes.

On May 27, 1997, the small town of Jarrell, Texas, was forever changed when a tornado touched down and took 27 lives. We're fortunate that we have been able to report that no lives have been taken in this 2022 storm.

Watch KVUE's 2017 documentary, which aired on the 20th anniversary of the 1997 Jarrell tornado:

Team three starting damage assessment in Granger

The third team is going to start in Granger, Texas, where KVUE's radars went offline on Monday during the storm. That team will then move southwest.

Early information points to an EF-2 tornado moving through the area, with winds of 111-135 mph and a track length of 35 or more miles. This was measured together with the Round Rock damage.

Team four starting damage assessment in Seguin

The fourth team will assess damage in Seguin, Texas, which is just south of KVUE's viewing area. That team will then move east, likely into Caldwell County where we've seen reports of tornado damage in the Luling area.

Credit: KVUE


Multiple tornadoes confirmed in Central Texas. Here's a look at photos and video

Neighbors pull Round Rock woman from home after Monday's tornado blows through

'It may be a miracle' | Gov. Abbott, Williamson County officials thankful after no reports of lives lost to tornadoes

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