Storm Events Database

Event Details

Event Tornado
-- Scale F3
-- Length 5.6 Miles
-- Width 200 Yards
State TEXAS
County/Area WILLIAMSON
WFO EWX
NCDC Data Source PDC
Begin Date 1997-05-27 15:05:00.0 CST
Begin Location 4N CEDAR PARK
Begin Lat/Lon 30.55/ 97.82
End Date 1997-05-27 15:11:00.0 CST
End Location 2SW CEDAR PARK
End Lat/Lon 30.48/ 97.83
Deaths Direct/Indirect 0/0 (fatality details below, when available...)
Injuries Direct/Indirect 15/0
Property Damage 70M
Crop Damage 50K
Episode Narrative The Cedar Park tornado formed around 3:05 pm CST from a different supercell thunderstorm. It first touched down about 3.5 miles north of Cedar Park at a location 0.6 miles south of CR 178 and 1.4 miles east of the intersection of US 183 and CR 178. The initial damage was to trees, however, the ground survey revealed damage nearby to a church and a trucking company. The aerial survey did not reflect this damage as being in line with the damage path. It is quite possible this damage was caused by strong wind near the tornado. The beginning point was in a relatively open area with damage primarily to a few trees and minor shingle damage to one house.

The tornado moved south-southwestward skirting a residential area before it crossed CR 180 immediately east of US 183. A historic train located on the north side of CR 180 just to the east of US 183 was in the direct path of the tornado. While the engine remained on the track, a coal tender converted to hold diesel fuel and weighing approximately 65,000 pounds including the 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel was flipped over and thrown a short distance.

Continuing across CR180, it entered a shopping center where it weakened and pushed inward slightly the north wall of a grocery store. It also pushed large metal doors inward that were built to open toward the outside. Damage at this point had been generally F2 with brief F3 as the tornado knocked the train tender off the track and damaged the wall and doors of the food store. It tore off much of a weakly supported roof of a grocery store. The manager of the store, who had been a victim of the Wichita Falls Tornado of 1979, saw the approaching tornado, and made an announcement to all in the store to meet him in the middle of the store. He then led everyone he could gather into the meat locker. This very quick and decisive action probably saved several lives.

The tornado crossed US 183 causing additional damage to a number of businesses. One business on the west side of US 183 lost nearly the entire roof. Most damage to other businesses was believed to be minor. After crossing US 183 the tornado moved across Marquis Lane and North Park Circle moving through an area with widely scattered housing and a relative abundance of trees. Again, most damage to structures in this area was minor.

From North Park Circle the tornado moved into the northwestern portion of Buttercup Creek, a subdivision of well constructed homes. Damage to homes was irregular with one house losing a roof but the house next door losing only shingles. Two homes in the area were nearly destroyed an one damaged when a pickup truck was lifted and tossed against its front wall. Eleven homes were destroyed, with damage reported to over 100 homes. The damage level ranged from F0 to F2. At this point, the tornado track was taking a gentle right turn as the tornado track became more southwesterly. The tornado moved into a wooded area crossing into Travis County before ending 1.1 miles from Lake Travis. Damage in the wooded area was irregular ranging from near total destruction of all trees to sections with about 10 percent of the trees down.


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All events for this episode:

Location County/Zone St. Date Time T.Z. Type Mag Dth Inj PrD CrD
Totals: 0 15 70.050M 60.00K
CEDAR PARK WILLIAMSON CO. TX 05/27/1997 15:05 CST Tornado F3 0 15 70.000M 50.00K
FOUR PTS TRAVIS CO. TX 05/27/1997 15:11 CST Tornado F2 0 0 50.00K 10.00K
Totals: 0 15 70.050M 60.00K