Hurricane Katrina through the Eyes of Storm Chasers
96 pages, virtually all photographs
I recently discovered a collection of Hurricane Katrina photography that I thought worth mentioning. The book collects photos taken by Jim Reed and Mike Theiss, principally in the Gulfport area but also including a handful of shots in Orlando and New Orleans. Eleven years later, the plight of New Orleans monopolizes any mention of Katrina, but these photographs were amazing. The storm hit only a year after Hurricane Ivan walloped Alabama, so I watched it approach the coast with dread. Reed and Theiss are lunatics, judging by how close they were to the storm surge and the winds here — though at least once they set up a highly stable and encased camera near the path, then recovered it later. If the only Katrina footage you have seen is of New Orleans, this book is worth looking through. Gulfport wasn’t merely flooded: the winds, 26-foot storm surge, and ships thrown inland wiped out massive swaths of development. Hotels had their first floors gutted, with only the load-bearing walls intact, The shots of wind blown trees have a beauty about them, despite the sheer danger they make those of us living anywhere near the Gulf remember.