The Jarrell Tornado, in Williamson County, Texas was considered one of history's worst tornadoes. Following a warning at 3:30 PM on May 27, 1997, a tornado hit Jarrell at 3:42 PM with winds of 261 mph. This was an extremely rare event, as the F5 ranking it received is the highest for tornadoes. (F0 is "light" and F5 is "incredible"). Virtually everything in the path of the tornado was destroyed. Trees were debarked and uprooted, grass was pulled from the ground, 300 head of cattle were lost and dozens of cars were thrown over one-half mile.
The Jarrell tornado passed just west of downtown and struck the Double Creek residential subdivision. Entire homes, including the foundations, were plucked out of the ground and thrown miles. Where some foundations remained, many had the carpet and linoleum floors stripped clear to the concrete. Mature trees were plucked out of the ground like weeds. The disaster caused 27 deaths.