10 years later: Our Katrina coverage

11-03-allen7As the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches, Augusta Free Press takes a look back at the devastation and the recovery efforts in Long Beach, Miss. Augusta Free Press travelled with The Valley Responds, a local community group aiding in recovery, for a day in Long Beach, two months after Katrina, to learn about how the Valley’s response was having impact on families in the region.

On a personal level, the trip a decade ago changed me. Seeing people with determination to rebuild – their homes, their schools, their church, their lives – and hints of life all around us … a sunflower growing amidst a dead whale carcas where homes used to stand … there was something almost impossible to put into words about the place. And yet I tried. So much beauty – the ocean and sand, and even two months after the natural disaster, a stench remained in the air that followed me home and haunted me for months.

The series of stories that I wrote when I returned are what I consider the best journalism I’ve done in my career. The six-part series introduced the people we met and shared their stories with the Valley in hopes that the effort that had been started by a small group wouldn’t end.

I invite you to travel with me back in time and to remember the people who shared their survival stories who were working side by side with Valley volunteers to rebuild after Katrina.

– Crystal Graham

 

The series

Part one: Impressions of Long Beach (10.31.05)
Part two: A Halloween to remember (11.01.05)
Part three: Rebuilding their homes, lives (11.02.05)
Part four: Life is an adventure (11.03.05)
Part five: The healing power of God (11.04.05)
Part six: Valley responds … or not (11.07.05)

 

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The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.
 
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