City departments are working to assess the needs of residents and damage in the wake of a tornado that caused extensive destruction to Round Rock homes and businesses. Mayor Craig Morgan asked people to avoid the areas hardest hit as crews work to clear debris and repair downed power lines.
"I don't think public safety wants you in the neighborhoods," Morgan said. "We've got to make sure that it's safe to get in those neighborhoods."
For those interested in volunteering, Morgan said they can reach out to [email protected] to be connected with volunteer efforts after the city has determined where help is needed.
"First, we will be setting something up, and we will be able to tell and organize where we need volunteers," Morgan said. "But that's going to take us a little time; we need some daylight; we have not had enough daylight to be able to determine where we can get help."
It is not yet clear what the total cost of damage caused will be, but that information is forthcoming. Morgan stated homeowners should begin gathering information to file claims with the Texas Division of Emergency Management and their insurance.
"It is important that our citizens fill in information with the TDEM because that's where they get immediate state aid," Morgan said. "I think with insurance, we've been asked to file a declaration to help on that with regards for citizens."
Morgan signed the declaration of disaster the morning of March 22, according to the city. Damage can be reported at https://damage.tdem.texas.gov.
City crews are also working to organize pickups of debris from homes, and homeowners are advised not to place them in the street.
Round Rock resident Tammy Crespo said her home was on the receiving end of some minor damage to the roof, garage and doors, and in her 20 years of living in the city, this is not something she would have ever expected. She was working from home when she received a call from her boss.
"She said, 'Hide, it's on the way to your house,'" Crespo said.
This is an ongoing story and will be updated as additional information becomes available.