Ill Wind

The storm ravaged her home, but it unified the people of her city, and revealed them as heroes. A renowned author reflects.

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I woke in the dark to the dreaded beeping that had become all too familiar over the last couple of days: another tornado warning. I could feel the fear, heavy as an iron ball, lodged deep in my body. Just yesterday a tornado had hit Fort Bend County, and on streets not far from us, entire roofs had been snatched away. Now the wind roared around our house. Peering out the window, I could see the tall trees behind my house bent sideways. It looked like any moment branches could break off and come flying straight at us. The fields behind us had turned into a huge lake, the edges of which lapped at our backyard, only a few frightening feet from the house. In front, the street was a rushing river, the water halfway up our drive already. And a little ways away, I knew the Brazos River had risen higher than it had in the last 800 years. Officials were afraid the levies might break under the pressure. Our zone had been under voluntary evacuation orders for the

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