15K Williamson County residents remain without power after March 21 tornadoes

Downed power line and damaged food truck
About 15,000 Williamson County residents are without electricity the morning of March 22 as tornadoes the previous evening downed power lines. (Joe Warner/Community Impact Newspaper)

About 15,000 Williamson County residents are without electricity the morning of March 22 as tornadoes the previous evening downed power lines. (Joe Warner/Community Impact Newspaper)

Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said 15,000 residents are without electricity the morning of March 22 after two confirmed tornadoes hit portions of the county the previous evening.

The power outages are both a result of the storm and precautionary measures utility companies are taking to protect crews who are working to repair downed power lines, Gravell said.

“The power is being restored as long as it is practical and safe,” Gravell said. “We’ve got crews out there right now. In fact, some of our greatest first responders in the last 24 hours have been those from different power companies.”

Additionally, Gravell said teams gathered the morning of March 22 and will be out in the community to assess the cost of damage throughout the county. However, he said it will be days before a cost estimate is available.

Members of the community can report damage to their property at https://damage.tdem.texas.gov.


“There are hundreds of homes damaged and some that are destroyed. There are businesses that are damaged and destroyed,” Gravell said, noting he would be doing a drive of Round Rock and other affected areas March 22. “There’s significant damage in some of our business and residential communities.”

During the March 22 commissioners court session, Gravell noted two tornadoes were confirmed in Williamson County. One traveled 24.62 miles from Round Rock to Granger but was not on the ground the entire time, Gravel said. The other went 11.81 miles in Jarrell.

Gravel also reiterated the National Weather Service will be on the ground in communities, including Round Rock, Jarrell, Granger and Taylor to look for evidence of and potentially confirm additional tornado systems.

Calling it a “March miracle,” Gravell said no deaths or serious injuries have been reported as a result of the storm.

An emergency declaration is in place for the county, and Gravell said Gov. Greg Abbott would prepare to issue one at the state level once the scope of the storm is better understood. Gravell and Abbott held a joint press conference the evening of March 21 to begin to recap the storm and outline next steps.

Gravell said the county’s office of emergency management is working with nonprofit organizations and churches to mobilize aid. He said the county will also continue to support the city of Round Rock’s response efforts.

“[The county’s role] is to work with Mayor [Craig] Morgan. What I’ve done in the last 24 hours is just saying there, ‘What do you need from us, and how can we help you?’” Gravell said. “They will do everything leaning forward, and our job is just to be there to support them.”

Gravell said there is a potential need for commissioners court to call a special session for later this week to address any emergency items arising from the storm. The next scheduled commissioners court meeting is March 29.
By Claire Shoop

Reporter, Northwest Austin

Claire joined Community Impact Newspaper in September 2019 as the reporter for the Sugar Land/Missouri City edition and in December 2021 moved to Austin to become the reporter for the Northwest Austin edition. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in May 2019 where she studied journalism, government and Arabic. While in school, Claire was a fellow for The Texas Tribune, worked for the student newspaper, The Daily Texan, and spent a semester in Washington, D.C. She enjoys playing cards with her family and listening to the Boss, Bruce Springsteen.