Havendale, Missouri – population 15,025. It’s shaping up to be a near perfect Spring day. The weather is warming towards summer, and school is winding down with a weekend dance to look forward to. However, budding meteorologist, Dick Travis, knows things are not always as they seem… With a tornadic onslaught of epic proportions bearing down on the town, Travis, together with his teacher and mentor Ted Dalton, must find a way to save as many as they can before the deadly storm hits.
Targeted Age Group:: 16+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
My inspiration for this book came from living in northern Missouri for a number of years and experiencing the severe weather in “tornado alley”. After researching with meteorologists and others, I came up with the scenario of “what if” a gigantic storm would catch a small town without ample warning?
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The characters in Disaster at Havendale are a mash-up of normal everyday teens in a high school setting; the meteorologists at the Storm Prediction Center are purely fictional and not based on anyone in particular.
At first he thought that his mind was playing a cruel trick on him. It appeared as if the clouds and ground had merged into one horizon a few miles away. But then, as the enigma moved steadily closer, Travis realized with total clarity what the strange object was—a massive tornado headed straight at Havendale High. It loomed as a giant among the seemingly miniature landscape, a three-mile wide area of mud, rock and structural debris rotating around a devastatingly low-pressure area. With top sustained winds of nearly 350 miles per hour, this gargantuan tornado sucked up everything in its’ path. Everything. The trail behind it appeared to have been bulldozed to a smooth finish by the heaviest earth-moving machinery ever built.
As Travis dimly recorded a barometer reading on his instruments of 800 mb, he understood with a mind-numbing awe that he was going to be perhaps the only living witness to one of the most powerful, if not THE strongest, storms ever created by nature. An EF-5 twister, the highest that could be measured on the Enhanced Fujita scale. Deadly and terrible, yes… but also beautiful and elegant; God’s own mighty power polished and refined to the nth degree.
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