Inside Hurricane Katrina

Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Sean Waters
120 min


It's a classic

military operation...

Attack the enemy

with overwhelming force.

We're in the eye wall.

Cut off his ability

to communicate.

Take the enemy's eyes out.

Take his ears out.

Then fix him

so he can't maneuver.

This whole place

is going under water.

But this

is no sneak attack.

The aggressor announces

her intentions.

Experts predict the date,

the time,

even the place

where she will strike.

And yet, somehow,

a natural disaster spirals

into an unnatural

human catastrophe.

We're devastated.

We haven't eaten

in three days.

What turns Katrina.

Into one of the deadliest

hurricanes of modern times?

No water. No food.

We don't have a home.

We lost everything.

Woman sobbing:
We want her back.


Why does it take so long.

To respond

to the cries for help?

Who makes the decisions,

and why?

People gotta do something,

we ain't got no more food.

We got babies out here.

We got handicapped people.

On the floor,

she's dying right now.

Two people died already.

Where's FEMA? Where's the Mayor?

Please, somebody.

We need some help out here.

Get us outta here!

We wanna get outta here!

Help! Help! Help!

I don't even know if my kids

are alive, man.

The facts behind

the storm shed new light...

As we go

Inside Hurricane Katrina.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

July 2004.

A war game is underway

at the state's

emergency operations center.

The scenario:

A deadly hurricane called Pam

ravages New Orleans

and the surrounding area.

Floodwaters surge

over the levees,

engulfing the city.

The death toll:

The injured and sick: 380,000.

The homeless:
Half a million.

Half a million buildings


One million people evacuate

the hurricane zone.

In the war game, Pam cripples

local and state government.

So without even waiting

for an S.O.S.,

Washington takes charge

of the relief effort.

After a week

of these doomsday scenarios,

the disaster officials

have a preliminary plan.

So the locals knew what

their responsibilities were.

The state knew what

its responsibilities were.

The federal government knew

what its responsibilities were.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005.

00 A.M. the central Bahamas.

Heavy rain and high winds

rattle the skies

and kick up mountainous waves

in the Atlantic Ocean.

Satellite photography reveals

a spinning formation

of thunderstorms,

with the signature

counterclockwise rotation

of a hurricane in the making.

Sustained wind speed

tops 38 miles an hour.

It is officially

a tropical storm...

For now.

On the alphabetized list

of names for storms

in the Atlantic Ocean in 2005,

the next one up is Katrina.


The National Hurricane Center

issues an advisory:

Hurricane conditions

are possible in south Florida

within 36 hours.

Bentonville, Arkansas.

An emergency response team here

is already on the case.


are one of the few disasters.

That give you lead time...

That you can really kind of

plan things ahead of time...

And for us it's "go, go, go, go"

until the storm hits.

This response team

is using that lead-time.

To gather truckloads of supplies

that people need

in an emergency...

Including bottled water,

flashlights, and pop tarts.

But Jason Jackson is not part

of a government disaster plan.

He works for Wal-Mart.

Thursday, August 25th. 3:30 P.M.

Katrina's wind speed

hits 74 miles an hour.

That means she's now

a category 1 hurricane...

Able to topple trees,

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    "Inside Hurricane Katrina" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 20 Jan. 2021. <>.

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