Clements High seniors graduate despite April storms - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Clements High seniors graduate despite April storms

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Thursday's graduation ceremony is set for 4 p.m. in the gymnasium. Thursday's graduation ceremony is set for 4 p.m. in the gymnasium.
Clements High School was closed for almost two weeks right after the April 28th storms. Clements High School was closed for almost two weeks right after the April 28th storms.
LIMESTONE COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

A little over a month after a tornado ripped through Limestone County, the senior class of Clements High School is getting ready to graduate.

Clements High School was closed for almost two weeks right after the April 28th storms. It wasn't exactly the way students wanted to round out their senior year but Thursday's graduation only solidifies the community's drive to rise above these storms.

There was some initial concerns right after the storms about the impact on graduation, but Limestone County Superintendent Dr. Tom Sisk assured the senior class that they would graduate on time.

School officials said 54 students at the school were left homeless by the storms. While you would think this would put a damper on their senior year, students said they've created so many positive memories over the last month and that they will remember how everyone pulled together to support each other.

Harrison Russell and his family weathered the storm in a shelter, only to discover their home had been destroyed. He said graduating is helping him move forward as they rebuild.

"It's been pretty rough, but we've had a lot of help," Russell said. "It just makes it a little extra special."

Twin sisters Heather and Haley Hammonds and their family have been staying in a hotel since the storm damaged their Parker Road home. They said it has been tough, but they are relieved and excited for their time to walk the stage.

"It's really relieving to wake up and know that we're finishing our last day of high school today, and that we won't have to go back to school," said Haley. "Just focus on getting back to the house and focus on starting our new lives."

"We're lucky to be with the people there," added Heather, "that we didn't have anybody harmed in the tornadoes. No one from our school, especially from our senior class was harmed in any personal way, except for their homes being damaged. But we're lucky to be there together tonight, graduating with people we love and grew up with."

Haley and Heather said the help they've received from fellow classmates and staff has been overwhelming. Their home is being fixed, and they could be there again in a few weeks' time.

A "Giving Tree" has been set up at Clements High School, so you can adopt a student affected by the storm and help them out.

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