The Morning After the Storm

Jeanette Mouser, a resident of Pocmont Trail in Southeast Austin, talks to Red Cross damage assessment volunteers about the storm that ripped off her back porch.

When Jeanette Mouser called her daughter in the early morning hours of February 20th, she was so upset she had trouble finding the words to explain what had happened. The rain and wind had been pounding the house for hours, when suddenly she heard a terrifying noise.

“It sounded like a bulldozer was trying to punch out the back wall,” said Mouser. “I tried to open the back door, but I couldn’t because something was lodged in front of it.”

The Mouser family spent the morning cleaning up the debris that was left behind by the storm, and began repairing what they could.

The porch cover on Jeanette Mouser’s home was ripped off and flipped backwards onto the roof of the house. Nearby trees snapped in half and were thrown up against the house by the strong winds.

Mrs. Mouser says she knows how lucky they are. “I know many of our neighbors are in much worse shape. It was scary, but we got really lucky. I’m glad we are all okay.”

Many families in the nearby community of Mustang Ridge were also feeling lucky to have made it through the storm. The strong winds and possible tornado tore off entire rooftops, sent branches and wooden beams flying through walls like arrows, and sent children’s trampolines flying down the road like weapons of mother nature.

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Red Cross damage assessment volunteers went door to door in these neighborhoods — just as volunteers are doing in many communities across Central and South Texas today — to get a better picture of the damage. During this process they are able to check in with families and make sure they have a safe place to stay, plus get a feel for what type of assistance will be needed to help them get back on their feet.

To find out how you can help your neighbors in need, visit or







The Morning After the Storm