Tornado stories: Recollections from people who were in the middle of Monday’s Central Texas tornadoes

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For some who were affected by the tornado outbreak, their stories were that of survival.

TEXAS, USA — For every home damaged or lost to the tornadoes Monday, there’s a story. Not just about splintered wood or missing walls, but also about the people who experienced the tornadoes first-hand.

For Derry Schroer, it was a new and unexpected chapter in her life as she had recently moved to Round Rock from California.

Everybody collected around this house today,” said Schroer as she surveyed her home that was left without a roof after a tornado struck in a Round Rock neighborhood.

“I guess we’re the worst [damaged home] in the neighborhood, and people were just very generous about helping us with anything. We needed showers, clothes, food, water. I’m just impressed by the community. Very impressed.”

RELATED: ‘It was very violent’: Family survives after tornado rips roof off home in Round Rock

And it was a sad chapter in the life of Doyle Rogers, 84-years-old, who’s lived in Elgin for 50 years. The wind blew so hard Monday that he had to crawl out of his shattered home on his hands and knees.

“From the time I heard that first thing come blasting off the hall until it was all over, it was probably less than a minute. The wall caved in and the roof fell in.”

RELATED: ’50 years of hard work, gone’ | Elgin man loses home in tornado storm

And in Jarrell, Texas, where a tornado in 1997 devastated the town and where 27 people lost their lives – unlucky again. But this time, no one was hurt.

Still, Jose Espinosa also had a story to tell. Speaking in Spanish, he told KVUE that at the height of the storm, everything went silent. Then the blinds began to shake through his window. He watched as the roofs of homes blew away.

RELATED: Jarrell faces lengthy cleanup process after tornado strikes

Just about everyone from the people who saw the tornadoes dancing across stormy skies on Monday, to the ones who turned out to help their neighbors today, to the folks who narrowly missed the fierce wind, and to those who lost it all – new chapters in their lives, not soon forgotten. 

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