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August 14, 2006

Review: Weather Channel begins 10-day Katrina retrospective with impressive ‘Storm Stories’

As the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s devastating hit on New Orleans, Louisiana, and Mississippi approaches, The Weather Channel kicks off a 10-day look into the past and future with two hour-long “Storm Stories” specials beginning on Sunday, Aug. 20.

The first of two premieres, “The Hurricane Katrina Anniversary Special,” is perhaps the best Katrina special I’ve seen yet. Other shows have left me wanting a little more insight, information or emotion. This one has all three.

National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield and a New Orleans Times-Picayune reporter talk about the storm’s impact. Along with plenty of details are touching stories from those who are living through the storm.

Viewers will see a changed world through the eyes of members of the shrimping and fishing business, including a Biloxi, Miss., family and a fisherman rebuilding his home. Also featured is a married couple and owners of one of New Orleans’ most famous restaurants, Dooky Chase’s, which is now shut down and rebuilding.

The show begins with a concise, yet thorough, recap of Katrina’s lashing of the Gulf Coast. Locations and explanations of the levee breaks in New Orleans are demonstrated through useful animations, as are graphics illustrating how the levees are being rebuilt.

A recent episode of “It Could Happen Tomorrow” explained how the depleting coastal wetlands south of New Orleans is contributing to the city’s vulnerability to hurricanes, and a quick mention of this would have been a nice addition to the comprehensive “Storm Stories.”

The special, hosted by Weather Channel Meteorologist Jim Cantore, is an excellent way to remember what happened and provides an update on the incredible amount of work that lies ahead for the Gulf Coast.

The show airs Sunday Aug. 20 at 8 p.m. EDT on The Weather Channel. A second “Storm Stories,” titled “Post Mark Katrina,” airs the following Sunday in the same hour.

In special Katrina coverage that runs through Aug. 29, the network will feature live reports from meteorologists revisiting the Gulf Coast, and news segments including “Superdome: Then and Now” and the rebuilding of a flooded Ninth Ward home.

“It Could Happen Tomorrow: Katrina Lost Episode” will be rebroadcast on Aug. 27 at 9 p.m. EDT. My review from June is here.

Watch for a review of “Storm Stories: Post Mark Katrina” in the coming days.

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Typhoon death toll exceeds 200 in China; CD helps children cope with fears of hurricanes; One year later, residents, communities recovering from tornadoes; Park dedicated at site of Nov. tornado that killed 25; $1.2 million paid for a weather vane; Popular TV weather forecaster Bill Kuster dies; Opinion: It’s just the dewpoint dummy; What happens when lightning strikes an airplane

Typhoon Kills 200 In China: Typhoon death toll exceeds 200 in China

Other Weather News: CD helps children cope with fears of hurricanes

One year later, residents, communities recovering from tornadoes

Park dedicated at site of November tornado that killed 25

$1.2 million paid for a weather vane

Popular TV weather forecaster Bill Kuster dies

CapitalWeather opinion: It’s just the dewpoint dummy

What happens when lightning strikes an airplane?

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