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Katrina: One year later
One year ago, Hurricane Katrina — packing a 25 foot storm surge and 145 mile an hour winds — slammed ashore the Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama gulf coasts, killing more than 17-hundred people, causing one hundred billion dollars or more in damage and displacing more than a million people. They flocked in every direction and more than 3-thousand headed for the Birmingham area. Some came with kids-in-tow, others with some belongings. Still others left with only the clothes on their backs. As a way to mark the journeys made by many of those who fled the gulf coast, the Rural Southern Voice for Peace created a database of comments and pleas from the victims of the storm and documented them in the National Gulf Coast Listening Project. Those taking part in the project include members of the Birmingham Friends Meeting – the Quakers, as well as Greater Birmingham Ministries and the National Conference for Community and Justice. WBHM’s Steve Chiotakis spoke with some members of the organizations involved – including the project’s coordinator, Peter Furst – about what some of the evacuees have been saying over the past year and why the project was put together.