BERTRAM, Texas (KXAN) – The Austin/San Antonio National Weather Service says the tornado that touched down in the Bertram area near Shady Grove Thursday night was an EF-2 rated tornado, with winds estimated at 125 miles per hour.
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Jon Zeitler, is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service and he’s seen some interesting weather scenes, but the one in Bertram was different.
“I’ve been doing meteorology 25 years and I’ve never seen an intact house moved this kind of a distance,” said Zeitler. “It’s something else, this is literally like Wizard of Oz.”
The Ashworth family home was lifted off its foundation consisting of about 30 piers, and went airborne, landing 100 yards away. The structure remained largely intact, though it did suffer severe damage.
The family of four was inside the home when the storm struck. They did the right thing and huddled inside an interior bathroom, suffering only from minor cuts and scrapes.
“We pulled the mattress over and we shut this door,” recalled Trent Ashworth. “This door blew through and we heard it hit and felt the suction and we just hunkered down praying.”
The National Weather Service believes the quality of the construction helped save the family’s home. The family, who spent four years constructing the home themselves, tells us, at least right now, they do not plan to rebuild in this same spot.