Hurricane Katrina

On Aug. 30, 2005, a doctor climbed the stairs through a New Orleans hospital to the helipad, which was rarely used, and so old and rusted it wasn't even painted with the hospital's current name.

From that helipad over Memorial Medical Center, the doctor looked out over New Orleans, now flooding after Hurricane Katrina. He considered the more than 2,000 people in the hospital below — 244 of them patients.

If we didn't experience Hurricane Katrina ourselves, we saw it: the ominous red pinwheel on the radar, the wrecked Superdome, the corpses. And certainly we saw our shame — America's inequality, negligence and violence were all laid bare by the storm.

But one tragedy went largely unwitnessed. And this is the subject of Sheri Fink's provocative new book, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital. The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer examines what happens when people make life-and-death decisions in a state of anarchy.

It's been eight years to the day since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. To mark the anniversary, NPR revisits neighborhood activist and curator Ronald Lewis, a New Orleans resident whom Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep regularly checked in with in the months after the storm.

WEDNESDAY: Lt. General Russel Honore

Aug 27, 2013

Jim chats with Lt. General Russel Honore (U.S. Army ret.), about the 8th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina later this week. The General was placed in charge of the response to the storm and the flood disaster in New Orleans that followed. He also talks about the 50th anniversary of the civil rights March on Washington.

It’s been eight years this month since Hurricane Katrina. The Greater New Orleans Community Data Center has been measuring data to see how far the recovery has come, and where the city is heading.

Marcia Gaudet and Barry Ancelet discuss their book, "Second Line Rescue", about improvised citizen rescues that took place after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Amite state Representative and House Democratic Caucus leader John Bel Edwards talks about his call for a Veto Session, to override some of Governor Jindal's budget vetoes, and other issues.


State plans to shut down the low-cost bus from Baton Rouge to New Orleans may harm economic ties between the cities.

According to a survey released Wednesday by The Center for Planning Excellence, more than half of LA Swift riders use the service to get to and from work.

Jim talks with former LSU Coastal Research scientist Ivor Van Heerden, who has settled a suit against the university for his firing - allegedly for speaking the truth about the Army Corps of Engineers and levee protection in and around New Orleans.

Author Ruta Sepetys discusses her latest book, "Out Of The Easy", which takes place in New Orleans in the 1950's.

For New Orleans, Superdome A Symbol Of City's Spirit

Feb 2, 2013

The Superdome in New Orleans has hosted heavyweight fights, papal visits, and — after this weekend — seven Super Bowls, an NFL record. But no event looms larger in the dome's history than Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 storm that turned the stadium into a teeming shelter of last resort.

During the storm, reporters spared no hyperbole when describing scenes of human suffering. The Superdome, in particular, was described as a "hellhole" and "apocalyptic," and it was sort of true.

Vitter Slings Mud After Katrina Belittled

Jan 7, 2013
Lieutenant Commander Mark Moran / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Senator David Vitter made his opinion of Senator Harry Reid clear this morning via twitter. "Sadly," Vitter wrote, "Harry Reid has again revealed himself to be an idiot, this time gravely insulting Gulf Coast residents."