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Cross recounts April 27, 2011 in ‘What Stands in a Storm’

Kim Cross, author of "What Stands in a Storm," will appear at Huntsville-Madison County Public Library in Huntsville on May 23 at 2 p.m. (CONTRIBUTED)
Kim Cross, author of “What Stands in a Storm,” will appear at Huntsville-Madison County Public Library in Huntsville on May 23 at 2 p.m. (CONTRIBUTED)

HUNTSVILLE – In a subtitle to “What Stands in a Storm,” journalist Kim Cross sums up April 2011’s devastation: “Three days. 21 States. 349 Tornadoes. 324 Lives. $11 Billion in Damage.”

Cross will visit the downtown location of Huntsville-Madison County Public Library to discuss her acclaimed new book that chronicles the tornado outbreak. She will speak in the auditorium on May 23 at 2 p.m.

Admission is free. Cross’ books will be available for sale and signing.

“Cross is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in ‘The Birmingham News,’ ‘New Orleans Times-Picayune,’ ‘The Anniston Star,’ ‘USA Today,’ ‘Southern Living’ and ‘Cooking Light’ magazines, ESPN.com, Health.com and CNN.com,” library communications director Ann Marie Martin said.

“It was the deadliest day of the biggest tornado outbreak in recorded history … neighborhoods erased. The biggest of the tornadoes left scars across the land so wide they could be seen from space,” Cross wrote in her book.

“But from the terrible destruction emerged everyday heroes, neighbors and strangers who rescued each other from hell on earth,” she wrote.

“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,” Cross said. “No, it’s not Oklahoma or Kansas; it’s Alabama, where there are more tornado fatalities than anywhere in the United States.”

With Alabama’s topography, 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 said.

Cross uses her immersive reporting experience and dramatic storytelling to place the reader in the midst of hardest-hit areas of Alabama. “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,” Cross said.

The downtown library’s address is 915 Monroe St. in Huntsville. For more information, visit kimhcross.com.

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