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Podcast: What Was It Like Responding in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina?

Damaged oil tanks and piping with spilled oil along Gulf Coast.
Damage from Hurricane Katrina at the Sundown Energy facility included ruptured tanks and piping, releasing oil into surrounding waters. The site, located in Potash, Louisiana, is remote. (U.S. Coast Guard)

AUGUST 27, 2015 -- On today's episode of Diving Deeper, we remember one of the most devastating natural disasters to hit U.S. shores: Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall 10 years ago this week.

What was it like working in New Orleans and the surrounding area in the wake of such a storm?

In this podcast, we talk with Charlie Henry and Dave Wesley, two pollution responders from NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration who were working in the area in the aftermath of not just one massive hurricane, but two, as Hurricane Rita swept across the Gulf Coast just a few short weeks later.

Hear about their experiences responding to these storms, find out which memories stand out the most for them, and reflect on the toll of working in a disaster zone:

Listen to the podcast

Damaged and flooded beachfront homes.
Hurricane Katrina caused significant damage to beachfront homes on Dauphin Island, Alabama. (NOAA)

Learn more about our work after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, explore the progress made in the 10 years since, and see photos of the destruction these storms left across the heavily industrialized coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

Last updated Tuesday, November 8, 2022 1:46pm PST