WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas – Dashcam video captured the moments a devastating tornado approached the east side of Williamson County last week.
“There’s a big rotation going on, I don’t know if you see it or not,” said Officer Paul Leal of Precinct 4, who can be heard on dash cam video.
“It just made you feel like something bad was about to happen, and you feel helpless because there’s nothing you can do to stop it,” Leal said as he recalled the event.
Constable Leal and his deputies were stationed throughout the area monitoring the storm.
“There was no way to keep up. We did our best to let the dispatch know his route, direction and what was hit,” he said.
Seconds after the tornadoes touched down, deputies were already there to help.
In the clip, you can see a deputy responding to a destroyed storage facility as he checked to see if anyone was stuck in the rubble. In another clip, you can see a deputy moving debris from the pavement.
The multiple sites of widespread devastation hit close to home for the constable.
“My heart sank. I’ve been here all my life. I know a lot of people who live in this neighborhood. I’ve been in law enforcement in East Williamson County for 25 years That’s where I went to high school. They’re my classmates,” Leal said.
Constable Leal said some of the challenges they faced during the storm were how they couldn’t use GPS. Instead, they had to rely on radio, local knowledge and talking in person to determine game plans.
With the storm long past, efforts to help the community continue. Leal said every day since the storm they have been going to areas to check on survivors.
“They’re just people serving people. That’s all we are, just people serving people and as long as we remember to do that, we’ll be fine,” Leal said.
Despite the extensive damage, Constable Leal is confident that Williamson County will rebuild.
“Whenever we have a crisis, the Williamson County community comes together,” he said.
FEMA in Williamson County to assess damage from storm-triggered tornadoes
Round Rock Express to Host Fundraiser for Opening Day Tornado Relief