BASTROP COUNTY, Texas - People of Elgin are now starting to pick up what's left after a tornado damaged several homes Monday evening.
On Monday, a red truck was nearly carried away by a tornado. The video was posted by storm chaser Brian Emfinger. That twister was just east of downtown Elgin and it is believed much of the debris spinning in the tornado came from a mobile home community near HWY 290 and HWY 95.
Tuesday, crews cleared away twisted metal that were once a part of homes. Gabriel Torres was helping with the work because several of his employees lived there and were caught up in the twister. One was hospitalized and appears to be the only person in Elgin who was severely injured.
"One of the things I heard from my guys is, at the moment, there is so much you think about, yourself, trying to survive a tornado, your family, your kids back in Mexico. These employees come over here to work, temporarily and then head back to their families, it's like all of that comes to mind," said Torres.
Debris slammed into a building in the mobile home community in Elgin. Olympia Luna and her family lived there.
"If the trailer wasn't there, we would have never made it," said Luna.
They took shelter in a back room.
"We saw it, we ran inside, his dad put a chair over us and I kind of covered them over my body and we just survived," said Luna.
Not far away, along Old Sayer Road, another family shared their survival story.
Shannon Mogonye took FOX 7 to the back apartment where she and her husband lived. Items on her kitchen cabinet never moved, but nearly everything else collapsed on them.
"We heard the howling, we felt the pressure and then all of a sudden the roof was gone. It was so quick," said Mogoney.
They had to dig themselves out of the rubble and at times felt escape was hopeless.
On the northeast side of Elgin, a tornado moved toward a trailer with two people inside. They didn't have to dig out of the debris, they survived after running out seconds before the tornado lifted the trailer off the ground and smashed it.
The tornado then hit a home about 200 yards away. The ceiling inside didn't fall in but rain water poured in. The roof to the house was ripped off.
"We were not sitting we were all upstairs running around with buckets just trying to catch all the rain, get everything we wanted to save downstairs. Glad we are alive and praying for everybody else," said Lacey Nash.
The Nash family owns the Elgin Christmas tree farm. The farm and business only have limited damage.
"We had a few people come out wanting to help and that's awesome that people are so kind and giving that they want to come out and help," said Nash.
Bastrop County officials issued a report on an initial damage assessment. So far, 65 homes were counted as being damaged or destroyed.
At one point, 75% of Elgin was without power. Utility crews spent much of Tuesday working a power line break on HWY 290.
Residents who are need of assistance with clean up are being told to contact the Bastrop long term recovery team at 512-303-4300 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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