On April 27th, 2011, part of Plainview High School (my Alma Mater) and DeKalb County Coliseum were destroyed by an EF-5 tornado that left a 25 mile path of destruction. More than 300 homes were destroyed and 33 people killed in DeKalb County. 38 people were also killed in Tuscaloosa that day, too. For some reason major media focused on Tuscaloosa and overlooked DeKalb County victims.
Here's actual film footage of the tornado as it formed and dropped from the sky just a couple minutes before it tore through the area: Rainsville Tornado 4/27/2011. It is quite frightening.
June 25th was the first chance we had to travel to Alabama to see what had happened. There are no words to describe the destruction. The loss. Seeing the dozens and dozens of houses ripped apart in the areas we traveled, I cannot imagine the fear that struck the hearts of the people who survived through this. My heart goes out to them and to the families who lost loved ones.
I attended Plainview from K-12th grade. I am a product of that school. My craft of writing stems from what I learned there. My novels are an extension of those who taught and encouraged me to pursue my goals. I want to be able to give back to the school for those reasons. I'm setting plans into action right now and will update soon on what I can do.