Eight videos and photo assignments in five days. Between the Democratic National Convention in Denver and Hurricane Gustav in New Orleans I haven’t slept much in the past two weeks. Eighteen hour work-days have been the norm. I’ve been telling people that all I’ve been doing is working and sleeping. Thankfully Hurricane Gustav came ashore in Louisianna with less force than expected. It made landfall around 10:30 a.m. as a category 2 storm about 60 miles west of New Orleans where I was staying with the rest of the nine-person USA TODAY storm coverage team. Thankfully all the levees and flood walls held up!
Here is a link to all of the video packages I produced for USA TODAY during Gustav coverage. Though I can’t take credit for the “Singing through Gustav” piece. One of our reporters shot that and I put it on the site for her. My final package, and one of my favorites, I titled “Survival of the Lower Ninth Ward” is on the site now. Below is a photograph of Clarence Green, 52, a truck driver who lives in the Lower Ninth Ward and stayed behind despite the mandatory evacuation. Thankfully the flood wall along the industrial canal did not fail and flood the Lower Ninth again. He was one of three people I saw in the eerily quiet neighborhood the day after the storm.
The Lower Ninth Ward was almost completely destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. When Hurricane Gustav approached the residents evacuated and the levees held, and the flood walls stood strong leaving the neighborhood intact but with the feeling of a ghost town they day after the storm made landfall. A few people who stayed behind to ride out Hurricane Gustav share their story. Garrett Hubbard/USA TODAY