Home 10 years later: Our Katrina coverage

10 years later: Our Katrina coverage

Crystal Graham

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)


Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.