Ten years after the most devastating natural disaster in United States history, ABC anchor and Mississippi Gulf Coast native, Robin Roberts returns to the region to explore Hurricane Katrina’s legacy, examine the remarkable recovery, where it has fallen short, and celebrate the indomitable spirit that runs through New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Robin’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina began during the darkest hours of the storm when there were uncertainties for many, including Robin’s own family who were impacted by the hurricane in Pass Christian, Mississippi. Now, in this insightful and uplifting special, viewers are introduced to survivors and volunteers who have never before shared their stories of resilience and strength in the face of insurmountable odds.
"I've lost count how many times I've traveled back home these last 10 years after Katrina,” says ABC’s Robin Roberts. “With my own eyes I've witnessed the determination and grit of volunteers and locals to not only rebuild but also revitalize that beautiful region of our country. It's a challenging story of loss and growth that's still unfolding."
Throughout the special, Robin is joined by iconic Gulf Coast natives who continue to make a difference in the region. Actor and musician Harry Connick, Jr. and Grammy Award-winning jazz musician Terence Blanchard tell the moving story of how music helped restore the region after the storm. Blanchard, who scored Spike Lee’s documentary about Katrina – When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts – composed the original score for the ABC special as well.
Robin also uncovers the emotional stories of the survivors and community impacted by the storm. Most notably, Diane Brugger, a heroic storm survivor from the hard hit Mississippi Gulf Coast, opens up for the first time recalling the moments her husband and her home were tragically swept away by Katrina and she was left clinging to a tree for hours with 30 feet of water surrounding her before she was rescued. Diane shares how she is still coping with her loss and rebuilding for the future in one of the most moving stories in the special.
Additionally, in a moving portrait of courage and fortitude, Robin uncovers the story of two lives intersected because of the storm. A tale of an unlikely friendship between a tenacious girl named Syrena – rescued from the rooftop of her inner-city house – and celebrated chef John Besh who vowed to help New Orleans recover. Chef Besh became the force to help Syrena as she journeyed from an at-risk youth program to attending culinary school and becoming a chef in the city’s most esteemed restaurants.
ABC will host a screening of “Katrina: 10 Years After the Storm” with Robin Roberts on August 19th in New Orleans, Louisiana and August 20th in Pass Christian, Mississippi. Please contact Caragh Fisher at Caragh.firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Robin Roberts and John R. Green are the Executive Producers of “Katrina: 10 Years After the Storm.” “Katrina: 10 Years After the Storm” with Robin Roberts airs Sunday, August 23 at 10pm ET on ABC with additional portions of the special to air on ABC News platforms throughout the week.