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Katrina Oral Histories Series Airs on WRBH

House in the Upper Ninth Ward,
House in the Upper Ninth Ward with a marking on the door that reads, “we will be back.”

Written by Sarah Holtz

For the past three months, we’ve recorded a collection of stories from individuals in our community about their experiences during and following Hurricane Katrina, the levee breach, and the ensuing flood. To honor the ten years that have passed since the storm, we’re presenting these stories in a special broadcast, in lieu of the Midday Short Story this week.

Visit our SoundCloud page for the podcast versions of these stories. We’re also partnering with NolaVie for this project, and you can find excerpts from the stories on their website as well.

Here’s the broadcast schedule for this week: 

Monday, August 24, 12:30-1pm: Elli Diaz and Nancy Hinds

These two stories are intertwined and recount Elli’s and Nancy’s experiences when Elli’s son, Jackson, was born with a congenital heart condition three weeks before Hurricane Katrina reached New Orleans.

Tuesday, August 25, 12:30-1pm: Sherry Alexander and Carol Butcher

Sherry’s and Carol’s stories come from journal entries they wrote during and after the flood.

Wednesday, August 26, 12:30-1pm: Natalia Gonzalez

Natalia recounts her family’s story, as well as her return to the radio station and tireless efforts to get WRBH back on the air.

Thursday: August 27, 12:30-1pm: Carol Bebelle and Fred Neal

Carol’s and Fred’s stories provide commentaries about the social and cultural fallout from Katrina. Carol Bebelle is the Executive Director of the Ashé Cultural Arts Center and her story reflects on Ashé’s role in bringing the Central City community together after the flood. Fred Neal is an urban planner and member of the 610 Stompers.

Friday, August 28, 12:30-1pm: Jane Trucksis and Adam Roussell

Jane’s story reflects on the positive experiences she gained in the year after Katrina. Adam recounts the story of his proposal to his wife just before the storm to his 7-year-old daughter, Addison, and four-year-old son, Marshall. Jane’s and Adam’s stories provide a spark of optimism in light of the ten years that have passed since Katrina.

The Katrina Oral Histories Series is part of our Oral History Program, an ongoing project at WRBH. If you would like to share and preserve your story – any story you’d like – we would love to record it for you. You can get in touch with me by emailing sarah@wrbh.org or by calling the station at 504-899-1144.

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WRBH 88.3 FM, Radio for the Blind and Print Handicapped, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is the only full-time reading service on the FM dial in the United States. At WRBH, our mission is to turn the printed word into the spoken word so that the blind and print handicapped receive the same ease of access to current information as their sighted peers.

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