TV to look at Katrina anniversary

It will be a decade next week since Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans and huge swaths of the Gulf shore. More than 1,800 people died and tens of thousands of people struggled for days. More than a million ended up displaced, many to Atlanta.

Several TV networks, including Atlanta-based CNN and the Weather Co., are airing specials in the coming week about the disaster’s impact.

The Weather Co. is covering the anniversary especially heavily, both on its TV network and online.

Nora Zimmett, senior vice president of live programming for the Weather Channel, said the network is deliberately avoiding the type of coverage she expects from the cable news networks.

“We are getting back to our scientific roots,” she said. “The stories we tell are rooted in science and meteorology.”

The network’s primary special, “Katrina 2065,” airing at 8 p.m. Aug. 27, uses projections and presumptions to anticipate what would happen if a similar storm happened in 50 years, when ocean waters will be higher.

“I think the story will shock a lot of people,” Zimmett said. “The Gulf Coast is sinking. The infrastructure to protect the coast is only as good as the maintenance, and for a certain level strength of hurricane. We have historians, authors and scientists who say that there is no wall man can build that would protect against every storm.”

Online, weather.com will feature replays of original Weather Channel coverage in almost real time starting Tuesday, photographs from 2005 and today, and looks at the health effects Katrina had on residents and the quality of the rebuilt levees in New Orleans.

Here’s a sampling of special Katrina programming:

• ABC: “Katrina: 10 Years After the Storm.” Robin Roberts is host. Drew Brees and Harry Connick Jr. are set to appear. 9 p.m. Aug. 23.

• CNN: “Katrina: The Storm That Never Stopped.” Anderson Cooper travels back to the region and reconnects with people he reported on for several weeks in the storm’s aftermath in 2005. 9 p.m. Aug. 24.

• BET: “Katrina 10 Years Later: Through Hell in High Water.” Correspondent Jeff Johnson will present stories about survivors and their efforts to rebuild their lives and communities. 8 p.m. Aug. 26.

• Weather Channel: “Katrina 2065.” With hosts Sam Champion and Jim Cantore. Meteorologists use cutting-edge weather animation to ask the question: Could we endure this again? 8 p.m. Aug. 27.

• Weather Channel: “Katrina 10 Years Later.” Al Roker and Stephanie Abrams will report live from New Orleans, followed by Michael Lowry and Cantore in Gulfport, Miss. 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. Aug. 28.

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