SIU's Tornado Book goes on sale - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

SIU's Tornado Book goes on sale


The morning of February 29, 2012 will be forever remembered as the day that changed thousands of peoples lives in Southern Illinois.

That's the day a EF-4 Tornado tore through the Harrisburg and Ridgway communities. Killing seven people in Harrisburg and injuring hundreds more.

On Sunday afternoon dozens of residents from both communities gathered at the Harrisburg Public Library to get their hands on the first copies of a book documenting the day.

Southern Illinois University's Journalism students spent months after the storm passed interviewing residents and taking thousands of pictures of the destruction.

"I've given a lot of hugs and shed some tears with the residents of Harrisburg," said Steve Matzker an SIU Journalism Student. "The biggest thing I've taken from this is that the field of journalism isn't impersonal, its very personal. And that's the best way to tell a story is to get close to the people."

Many of the residents say the book was an important for them to get, to help them with their healing process.

"We went through this storm. And our house was not quite demolished," said Lynda Clemmons of Harrisburg. "We are rebuilding it. But we wanted these photographs to keep and remember what we've been through. And we're getting extra copies of it for our children."

The book titled 4:56 A.M. The Story of the February 29, 2012 Tornado is selling for ten dollars a copy.

And once the cost of publishing the book is covered, the remaining funds from sells of the book will be donated to the rebuilding funds for both the Harrisburg and Ridgway communities.

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