Round Rock Residents Begin to Recover After EF-2 Tornado
By Terry Gutierrez
Reporting Texas TV
ROUND ROCK, Texas — Residents began evaluating damage and reflecting on the aftermath following a tornado that hit Williamson County on March 21.
That same day, other areas in Texas experienced several other tornadoes. The tornado that spiraled through Round Rock was an EF-2 with winds estimated to be over 110 mph.
“We’ve been [in] rebuild mode, cleaning up all the debris, tree limbs, trees, fences. I mean, there’s just so much stuff everywhere,” said Anthony Geronimo, a Round Rock resident whose neighborhood was in the tornado’s path.
According to the City of Round Rock’s preliminary assessments, the tornado caused more than $32 million in damage to 680 residential structures. Thirteen were “destroyed” and 93 had “major damage.”
“Down the street, you’ve got even worse damage, too. Either their houses are falling, or, you know, all of their windows are out,” said Brianna Knight, a resident who had previously experienced an EF-5 tornado in Joplin, Mo., in 2011.
Round Rock Mayor Craig Morgan signed a declaration of disaster on March 22, activating an emergency management plan to help residents recover.
Round Rock Cares, a tornado disaster relief fund managed by the Greater Round Rock Community Foundation, launched March 25. The relief fund received over $300 thousand in donations. Residents will be able to apply in the coming days, according to the city’s website.
The city is still conducting neighborhood cleanups. Solid waste provider Central Texas Refuse will conduct storm debris pickups the next two Saturdays, April 2 and 9.
“It’s heartbreaking, but also, you see the spirit of the neighborhood,” Geronimo said.
“You see the resiliency of the neighborhood. You see the hearts of others. You see the love pouring out and the support,” he said.
“And you say, ‘Hey, there’s hope for humanity.’”