Jarrell, Texas Population - 3,088

The Jarrell Townsite Company sponsored several major "lot sales" during 1910 and 1911.  The company, headed up by E.C. Haeber and Orlando Jarrell (for which the town was named), would charter a special train over the new railroad, for which people would be entertained for the afternoon by, usually, a big barbecue, a brass band from Walberg or elsewhere, and many flowery speeches about the bright future of Jarrell. 

 A transportation history magazine called Journal of Texas Shortlines is coming up with an issue entirely devoted to the little Bartlett Western railroad and the stage line that ran through Jarrell many years ago. 

The 1997 tornado -

The Deadly TwisterThe Jarrell Recovery Headquarters-

Hours are 4pm to 7pm on Mondays and Thursdays.

Jarrell Recovery's phone number is (512) 746-0030

A reprinted article on the Jarrell '97 tornado-

"Tornadoes carve a deadly trail
The Texas tornado
By Dave Harmon
American-Statesman Staff

Tornadoes cut a deadly swath through Central Texas on Tuesday, leaving
at least 31 dead in Jarrell in Williamson County, collapsing a grocery store
roof in Cedar Park, and causing at least two deaths in Travis County.
Williamson County Sheriff Ed Richards said 30 people were confirmed dead at a temporary morgue set up at the Jarrell Volunteer Fire Department. He said rescue workers would search for survivors throughout the night. Another person was pronounced dead at Scott & White hospital in Temple. Two others were in critical condition, and hospital officials were asking for blood donations. Rescuers continued searching early today at the Albertson's grocery in Cedar Park, where the twister reduced much of the store to rubble. Based on a review of license plate numbers in the parking lot, five customers were unaccounted, authorities said. The storms formed south of Waco on Tuesday afternoon and swept south along Interstate 35, striking Williamson and Travis counties just before rush hour and knocking out power to 60,000 homes and businesses. In North Austin, the body of a woman was pulled from raging Shoal Creek. In western Travis County, a man died when a tornado tore through the Hazy Hills development. Jerry F. Johns, president of the Southwest Insurance Institute, said damage to homes, cars and commercial buildings in Central Texas would be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Today could bring more misery. The forecast for Travis and surrounding counties calls for a 50 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms with locally heavy rainfall and strong winds possible. As the storm crossed from Bell into Williamson County, traffic halted on the interstate and hail peppered the ground ahead of a massive funnel cloud that snaked a thin white tail to the ground, where it expanded into a blue-black column. The twister destroyed about 50 homes in Jarrell, or roughly 10 percent of the dwellings in the town of about 1,400 people. Gary Lohman, a 20-year resident of Jarrell, stood guard over what remained of Clawson Disposal Company, a private garbage hauler where he worked.

"We could see it coming," he said, pointing to the northwest. "We watched it for 10 or 15 minutes. At first it was thin and narrow and we thought it was going to dissipate; then it came up from the ground as a huge mass." Lohman and several friends rode out the storm at the storm cellar in his home in Jarrell. When they returned, little remained of the street where he had stood watching the tornado. A steel building where Clawson maintained a recycling center was completely destroyed. A garage collapsed on two pickups.

"That used to be solid steel," Lohman said, pointing to the twisted scrap of metal which A farmer surveys the damage done to his tractor in the aftermath.had once been a dumpster across the road. "Now it looks like spaghetti."

Along County Road 305 on the south side of Jarrell, roofs were blown off metal buildings behind Jarrell Farm Supply. Dead cows lay in a field. Mailboxes were torn off posts. Wooden planks were driven through metal that used to be a highway guardrail. Tonya Wagers said she was watching a soap opera when she looked out the window and saw the funnel. "At first it was thin and narrow, but then it hit the ground and spawned two other tornadoes," she said. Wagers said she escaped in her truck, but when she came back nothing was left but a cage for the dog. "I'm alive and my husband's alive, but our house is gone and we had a van and three trucks and five dogs and they are all gone.' "It's very possible we have people trapped out there," said Richards, the sheriff. "I don't know what we may still find. ... It looks like a war zone. This is a devastating scene." Shopping center crushed By 4:15 p.m., the tornado moved south and tore through Cedar Park, crushing the shopping center that Albertson's anchors at the corner of U.S. 183 and FM 1431. A husband and wife were taken to Round Rock Hospital with undetermined injuries. A 51-year-old male employee was taken to Brackenridge Hospital by STAR Flight helicopter. Dogs located the employee, and authorities used heat-sensing equipment to look for other victims.

They later suspended the search, awaiting equipment from Texas A&M University to help them safely work through the debris. The equipment allowed them to drill into the collapsed roof and thread a camera and microphone into the rubble.

"It probably will be a long night," said DPS trooper Tom Mobley. An hour after the tornado hit, stunned customers at the shopping center said fast action by employees saved them from injury or death. Terry Meares of Lago Vista was in the check-out line when someone yelled that the tornado was coming. He and other customers said they were sent to the rear of the store, near the freezers. Then the roof fell.

"I laid down on the floor by the freezer locker, and the world blew open," Meares said. "I've been through two wars and I haven't been through something like this.'' Meares stood outside with a bandaged right arm and cuts all over his body, picking glass out of his shirt. " I'm going to go home and sit down and have a damn good drink and say 'Hey, you got through this.''

Outside in the parking lot, glass from shattered windows littered the ground. A pickup was slammed against a retaining wall, its front wheels in the air. June Price was in the shopping center's Blockbuster Video.

"You could see it come down and go back up, come down and go back up. We knew it was going to hit because you could hear a loud roaring noise,'' Price said. "It was all over within a matter of seconds.''

Parts of the video store's roof collapsed, shelves were upended, and two plate glass walls were shattered. Price credited store employees with saving roughly a dozen customers from harm by taking them into a back room.

In moments, it was quiet again. Then the sirens approached. The Cedar Park Fire Department and police arrived, joined by Austin police, Williamson and Travis County sheriffs' deputies, Department of Public Safety troopers, Leander volunteer firefighters, Round Rock police, and Austin and Williamson County Emergency Medical Services.

The after-math of the tornado leveled this field!The Buttercup Creek development near Cedar Park also was hit hard. Shingles and uprooted trees littered the streets as some residents filmed the wreckage with camcorders. Some houses were destroyed and others were seriously damaged. Roofs collapsed, and a beam jutted from one house like a spear.

By 8 p.m., state troopers had blocked every street in Buttercup Creek north of Buttercup Creek Boulevard, allowing only residents into the subdivision to prevent looting. Troopers went house-to-house, marking Xs on houses without injuries. Two deaths in Travis Around 6 p.m., a tornado ripped through the Hazy Hills development, about 15 miles west of Austin on Texas 71, killing one person. Authorities identified the dead man as 25-year-old Kevin Heisler, a Hazy Hills resident. Travis County sheriff's department spokesman Curtis Weeks said Heisler was found outside about 125 yards from his home, which was damaged. Weeks said authorities weren't sure if Heisler was in his home when the twister hit. Several other homes in the subdivision were destroyed, too, authorities said.

About 7 p.m., the body of a woman was pulled from the rising waters of Shoal Creek near the intersection of White Rock Drive and Shoal Creek Boulevard.
The woman, whose age and identity were not known, was pronounced dead at the scene, said Sally Muir, Austin Police spokeswoman. The woman's cause of death was not known Tuesday. Police do not know how she got into the creek.
Auto wreck injures four
About an hour later, a power outage at the intersection of RM 2222 and RM 620 -- and perhaps alcohol -- caused a two-car accident that left four people injured, one critically.
The accident occurred at about 8:00 p.m. when a green Jeep Grand Cherokee carrying two women and two young girls attempted to make a left turn onto RM 2222 from RM 620. A maroon Chevrolet pickup traveling eastbound on 620 slammed into the Cherokee, ejecting the two girls and pinning the women inside the car, which lodged against a steel light pole.

One of the girls, who were flown to Children's Hospital of Austin, was listed in critical condition and the other was in serious condition Tuesday night. The two women were in serious and fair condition, respectively, at Brackenridge Hospital.
Police arrested the driver of the pickup, who was not seriously injured, after he failed a sobriety test. Investigators found two beer cans in the pickup, and DPS trooper Tim Baker said it was traveling ''at a high rate of speed.''

Witnesses said the driver of the pickup didn't appear to realize that the traffic signal wasn't working, and may have thought he had the right-of-way.
Austin power outages At the height of the storm as many as 60,000 City of Austin customers were without power from outages. As of 10:30 p.m., all but 20,000 had their power restored, city officials said.

As in other storms in the past year, the outages -- scattered across the city -- were being caused mostly by tree limbs falling on the power lines,saidSteve Collier, director of the office of emergency management. Lightning strikes and other storm-related calls sent the city's fire department on 63 calls in the two hours from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., said Fire Capt. Florencio Soliz. But Soliz said there were no major fires caused bythe storm. Also reported by American-Statesman staff writers Bob Banta, Jodi

Berls, Laylan Copelin, Diana Dworin, Greg Easterly, Stuart Eskenazi, Scott S. Greenberger, Debbie Hiott, Leigh Hopper, Chuck Lindell, Nichole Monroe, Claire Osborn, Dylan Rivera, Christine Shirley, Starita Smith, Dick Stanley, Cara Tanamachi, Tara Trower, MikeWard, Pamela Ward and Ben Wear.

Wayne Persky, a farmer from Jarrell, Texas, looks over some of his farm machinery,
which was mangled by the same tornado that hit the town on May 27. At least 27 people
were killed in Jarrell.

Thanks to the Austin American Statesman for this Article!


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