18 years ago — Hurricane Katrina

Waking up to an ocean moved inland

Dawn Nelson
4 min readSep 4, 2023

The Sunday Dispatch ~ September 3, 2023

Satellite imagery of Hurricane Katrina before it made landfall. Image credit: NOAA National Hurricane Center.

It was 18 years ago this past Tuesday (August 29) that marked the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina making landfall in the Gulf of Mexico.

I remember when it happened. It was a slow unfolding disaster as the nation woke up to the reality of what had just happened. It was several days before the President of the United States even reacted to what was one of the biggest natural disasters that had ever hit this nation.

It was devastating.

It was so devastating, in fact, that some of my friends embarked on a disaster relief mission personally, because there was no national response.

I helped pack their bus with resources and provisions for a small crew who then went down to the Gulf Coast to provide some relief and draw attention to the dire need for national response. I like to believe that some of their photos sent to the national press helped trigger a federal level response.

There have been many hurricanes since Katrina, but Katrina was the wake up call to the need for disaster resilience and action on climate change.



Dawn Nelson

Artist, writer, strategist ~ writing creative nonfiction, memoir, essay. WIP: 0100 Series & The Sunday Dispatch.