WHAT STANDS IN A STORM
Three Days in the Worst Superstorm to Hit the South's Tornado Alley
In April 2011, the biggest tornado outbreak since the beginning of recorded weather ripped through 21 states over three days, with 358 tornadoes killing 324 people and causing $11 billion in damage. After entire communities were flattened and whole neighborhoods erased, it was everyday heroes, neighbors, and strangers who rescued each other.
With powerful emotion and gripping detail, Cross weaves together the heart-wrenching stories of several characters—including three college students, a celebrity weatherman, and a team of hard-hit rescuers—to create a nail-biting chronicle in the Tornado Alley of America. No, it’s not Oklahoma or Kansas; it’s Alabama, where there are more tornado fatalities than anywhere in the US, where the trees and hills obscure the storms until they’re bearing down upon you. For some, it’s a story of survival, and for others it’s the story of their last hours.
Cross’s immersive reporting and dramatic storytelling sets you right in the middle of the very worst hit areas of Alabama, where thousands of ordinary people witnessed the sky falling around them. Yet from the disaster comes a redemptive message that’s just as real: In times of trouble, the things that tear our world apart also reveal what holds us together.
Kim Cross is an editor-at-large for Southern Living and a feature writer who has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Society of American Travel Writers, and the Media Industry Newsletter. Her writing has appeared in Outside, Cooking Light, Bicycling, Runner’s World, The Tampa Bay Times, The Birmingham News, The Anniston Star, USA TODAY, The New Orleans Times-Picayune, and CNN.com. She lives in Alabama.