HOOVER, Ala. (WIAT) — The tornado outbreak of April 27th, 2011 created widespread destruction for thousands across the state. It also created unforgettable experiences we all can relate to, no matter where in the state you live. That’s what inspired a local author to document some of those stories.
It’s a daunting task that journalist Kim Cross created for herself. But it was one she wanted to accomplish. “There were times where I felt pretty paralyzed with grief,” said Cross, “You know there were times when I would just cry, and sometimes I couldn’t get out of bed because it was so, I don’t know, it was so heavy.”
She wanted to use her love of writing to create a story about the April 27th storms one that tells the true experiences of those who survived, and those who didn’t. After completing a special ‘After the Storm’ edition of Southern Living magazine, Cross left her job, and completely immersed herself in the aftermath of the tornadoes that devastated the state of Alabama.
“This is not a book about tornadoes… this is a book about people, this is a book about resilience.” – Kim Cross, Author
It took months of research, exploration, and interviews from law enforcement, meteorologists, and regular people, anyone who was affected by the storms. The end result “What Stands in a Storm: Three Days in the Worst Super-storm to hit the South’s Tornado Alley.” The book focuses in part on the heartbreaking story of three University of Alabama students. Cross says it was difficult to narrow down her book to just a few people, in one city. “I really looked at everyone and I honed in on the house of three students because I really felt like these are people anyone can relate too. And they were on the cusp of graduating and going out and becoming the people they were going to be.”
Cross feels her project created a cathartic moment for not only herself, but to many she spoke to. Her book, “What Stands in a Storm” is available in bookstores and online. Cross tells WIAT 42 that an audio version is currently in the works.
Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News