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Telling Katrina

June 1st, 2016

THE CONTRAFLOW PROJECT
thecontraflow@yahoo.com
@thecontraflow
(803) 792-7037

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

The Contraflow Project Shedding New Light on the Hurricane Katrina Response

 

FORT MILL, SC, JUNE 1, 2016: The Contraflow Project (TCP), a nonprofit research organization, announces its Hurricane Katrina Response Educational Awareness Campaign. “Contraflow,” a Louisiana highway evacuation procedure allowing coastal-bound traffic lanes to flow in the opposite direction of normal, seemed a fitting term for TCP co-founder and former Doraville resident M. Darryl Woods.

Eleven years ago this summer, the world watched in dismay the humanitarian crisis down on the bayou called “Katrina.” On September 7, 2005, M. Woods answered the call to assist fellow Americans in dire need and joined the Katrina Relief Efforts. What began as volunteer house gutting block by block and virtual office services, led to Woods chronicling the Katrina experiences of four men known as the “Soul Patrol” from the New Orleans 7th Ward; along with documenting the Post-Katrina Year One repopulation of the Crescent City.

THP

In late spring ’06, one still gnawing question was why did Delta Airlines supposedly withhold the destination from the passengers on the Soul Patrol’s September 10, 2005, Operation Air Care relocation flight out of New Orleans Louis Armstrong Int’l Airport (MSY)? After several failed electronic attempts to reach Delta spokesman Anthony Black, the airline was going through reorganization at the time; Woods snail-mailed an inquiry to their ATL Headquarters. To his surprise, charter operations manager Tracy Bevingtion responded with word that Captains Joe Kolshak and Mike Quiello wanted to talk. What those two airline executives, who piloted Delta humanitarian Flight 9900 in and out of MSY on September 1, 2005, had to say would unwittingly lead to Woods transitioning focus from solely that of the survivors’ saga to the vastly overlooked responders’ experiences. It was later learned in subsequent interviews that the Delta flight crew in question ignored the FEMA “destination unknown” policy somewhere over the Ozarks when they compassionately informed the displaced Louisianans their plane was en route to Nebraska.

Now on the trail of the big picture, in Dec. ’06, Woods set out on a Katrina Responders fact-finding mission to San Diego, L.A., San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Atlanta and Memphis. In 2007, the TCP Lead Researcher was given a personal tour of Delta’s Flight Ops/Operations Customer Center (OCC) at ATL; where he met the man in charge during Katrina, the late Bill Miret.

Thanks to the cooperation of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, FEMA, FAA, USFWS, state and municipal agencies, etc., the interviewing and meticulous research continued well into this decade, Then, after reading the Times-Picayune article, “Superdome’s Condition Leaves Mark on Doctor” on March 14, 2014, TCP finally cracks the Katrina Response DNA code. Woods says, “I believe that once the sequence of events is understood, the true story of Katrina can be understood.”

In recognition of July 7, 2016, the 10-year anniversary of the game changing Delta Airlines Kolshak-Quiello interview, Woods plans to initiate a fact-sharing mission physically and digitally revisiting the same ’06 cities to bring attention to the forthcoming 7-part book series, CONTRAFLOW: A KATRINA HEPTALOGY; which is void of blame, political agendas, media sensationalism, race-carding and demographic stereotyping. It’s dedicated to ALL Katrina Responders. The “7 Cities for 7 Books” campaign plans to begin on August 20, 2016; another milestone representing the 4,000th day anniversary of Woods’ personal involvement in Post-Katrina New Orleans. To paraphrase a 1987 Delta ad campaign, “M. Darryl Woods loves anything New Orleans, and it shows!”

CONTRAFLOW is, in the immortal words of Paul Harvey, “The Rest of the Story. Good day!” To learn more please visit: www.thecontraflow.org.

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