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Jarrell family moves away from home after being hit by second tornado

The Petersons lost everything on their property along County Road 305 when the tornado struck in 1997 and also had damage after a twister in March of this year.

JARRELL, Texas — After living through multiple tornadic storms, a long-time Jarrell family has decided it's time to leave their home as they don't want to take another chance at surviving another storm.

LaDonna Peterson currently lives off County Road 305, the same property she and her husband's family were living when the deadly F-5 tornado ripped though the town of Jarrell.

The violent storm on May 25, 1997 took the lives of 27 people, cleared nearly 50 houses down to the slab and left nothing in its path. 

"Unless you were here and saw what we saw and went through what we went through, you couldn't understand and you couldn't understand how that affects you now," Peterson added.

She lost many neighbors and friends who lived along CR 305 that day.

"I wanted to move then because it was too much for me," she explained.

However, Peterson and her family would stay and rebuild what they could.

When storms blow in, Peterson says so does unsettling emotions.

"It brings up a little bit of fright and the unknown," Peterson said. "What are you going to walk out and see this time, and you worry about your family."

It makes her wonder why she's still in Jarrell.

In March of this year, the town was hit by another tornado.

The storm on March 21 followed almost the same path as the storm did 25 years ago.

Peterson said her family's property was damaged, once again.

"It's very traumatic when those storms come through because even though you don't think it would be when it actually is here," she said.

Fast forward two weeks, another tornadic storm would touch down in Salado, barely missing the Jarrell community.

"We sat there and watched it go by and I was like that's it -- I can't handle it anymore," Peterson recalled.

Now the Peterson property is on the market.

"It's sad to leave in a way because we call this home," she said.

They're choosing to leave and not take a chance on surviving another twister.

It's not easy for Peterson, and many others, to relive the deadly tornado but they choose to as it is a small sliver of the town's history.

6 News is running a special edition on 6 News at 5 o'clock on Friday, May 27 -- the day of the 25th anniversary of the F-5 tornado in Jarrell. You can hear many different perspectives, testimonies and stories as we take a look back 25 years ago at the deadly tornado and the mark it left on the residents of Jarrell.

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