Round Rock tornado causes estimated $32 million damage to homes



ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — A week after a tornado tore through Round Rock, city leaders released their official estimates of the damage left Monday.

According to preliminary assessments, more than 680 residential structures were damaged at an estimated cost of $32 million.

The numbers came from both city officials and members of the Building Officials Association of Texas, who deployed trained and certified personnel to affected neighborhoods.

Each structure assessed was given a color label – red, yellow or green, with red signifying the worst damage and security threats.

Mayor Craig Morgan told KXAN that a red tag does not mean condemnation by the city and that demolition will ultimately be up to the owners and their insurance companies.

According to the inspections, 13 structures were “destroyed” and 93 suffered “major damage”.

The city said affected neighborhoods include Kensington, Windy Terrace, Greenlawn Place, Windy Park, Turtle Creek, South Creek, Concord at Bushy Creek, Forest Grove and Forest Bluff.

Mayor Morgan said after a weekend of clearing debris, recovery efforts were changing.

“Now we are in a phase where the question of financial aid is what arises,” he said.

Morgan said FEMA officials are expected to visit in the coming days, such as Wednesday. He also said the Round Rock Cares charity fund would start accepting applications for help this week for immediate help.

“For example, if someone can’t pay their full (insurance) deductible, we may be able to offset some of it to help them.”

Round Rock Cares, set up in conjunction with the Greater Round Rock Community Foundation, has been accepting donations since Friday. Monday evening, $280,000 had been raised out of a goal of $500,000.

KXAN returned to the Windy Terrace neighborhood on Monday and spoke with resident Diana Campos as she helped put up windows in her home along Oxford Blvd.

Campos – whose home was given a yellow tag – said her insurance company was temporarily moving her to a hotel after an adjuster identified gas line problems on Sunday.

“We’re getting there,” she said when asked about the insurance process so far.

Campos said she lost her husband and father in the months leading up to last week’s tornado.

“A big part of my husband is attached to this house,” she said, adding that she remains hopeful.

“I have to be,” she said. “Everything I love is right here – my friends, my neighbors, this community; I have to be.”

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