It's graduation day for 38 seniors at Jarrell High School, but memories of what happened a year ago Wednesday are still so vivid that some people won't take part.
A tornado packing winds of 260 mph roared through the small town on last May 27, killing 27 people and leaving much of the town of 1,000 devastated.Debby La France, 41, who lost her husband, home, pets and almost all of her possessions, is one who won't take part in the graduation ceremony. She and a number of others say they don't want to go anywhere, especially after 3:30 p.m., the time of the deadly twister.
"Now that the anniversary is coming up, it's bothering me a lot," she said.
La France was found dangling from the branches of her peach tree. The tornado had swept her and her 10-year-old daughter out of the bathtub in which they had sought refuge. Her daughter was found on the ground near the tree.
Her husband, who was lying beside the tub because he didn't want to crowd his wife and daughter, was hurled to his death.
Residents say the town has been nearly 90 percent rebuilt with a mixture of loans, donations and volunteer efforts.