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Several tornadoes touched down in Texas on Monday, leveling dozens of homes and damaging a number of schools, reports said.
Early reports indicated that nobody died during the destructive weather that impacted areas on the fringe of the some the state’s major cities.
“We know there are many people whose lives have been completely disrupted, people who have lost their homes,” Gov. Greg Abbott said at a Monday night press conference alongside Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell, KEYE reported.
“At the very same time, and what I’m about to say may be early and premature but it may be a miracle also, because even though there’s been some devastating physical damage, to my knowledge as of right now, there is no report of loss of life which is just stunning,” the governor added.
Abbott said he will likely issue a state disaster declaration on Tuesday.
There were a total of 19 reports of tornadic activity devastating the areas near Austin, according to the National Weather Service’s Prediction Center.
The NWS issued a tornado watch for 14 million residents living in parts of central and northern Texas until 10 p.m, including people in major cities like Austin, Dallas and San Antonio.
A tornado reportedly left behind a two-mile-wide path of destruction in Jacksboro, a city of about 4,500 about 60 miles northwest of Fort Worth. The NWS confirmed that a tornado touched down in the city around 3:50 p.m. Monday.
The Jacksboro fire chief estimates that about 60 to 80 homes were damaged as well as the city’s elementary school and high school, which suffered significant damage, NBCDFW reported.
Several students and staff were in the high school at the time the tornado hit. Photos show the roof of the school’s gym roof collapsed. Nobody was hurt.
“I’ve never seen anything like this. You see these things on the news and you just never assume you’ll be in that position,” Jacksboro High School Principal Starla Sanders told WFAA. “That definitely happened today. But I’m thankful for the way everybody handled things.”
As of Monday night, the Faith Community Hospital in Jacksboro was operating on a backup generator, but was not seriously damaged, according to the outlet.
In Round Rock, located just 15 miles outside of Austin, a woman was rescued by her neighbors after she was buried under her home that collapsed when it was hit by a tornado, according to KUVE.
Video shows Samantha Arevalo walking around her house after the storm, which was completely destroyed.
Arevalo said the power went out and she heard the storm coming before she “quickly grabbed everything off the bed and dragged the mattress into the bathroom.”
“We will use every resource as a city to recover, and we will recover because of you, the people,” Round Rock Mayor Craig Morgan said.
Threats of violent storms continued into Tuesday morning as the system moved east, but were expected to be less severe.