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The Continental Divide: My (DEN) Day In America

October 16th, 2018 Comments off


THOUGHTS FROM AN AMERICAN’S 10.09.18 ROCKY MOUNTAIN LAYOVER. The term “Divided Nation” is kicked, thrown and tossed around a lot these days. If the definition of being divided means I don’t share the same views as my fellow Americans, then I never want to live in an “Undivided” Nation. Forcing me to think as a whole sounds like North Korea and Saudi Arabia to me, in my opinion. The beauty of America is that I (we) can have our own opinions. If it were not for the First Amendment, I know with my big mouth free-thinking mind, I would have long been hauled off to a stadium and disappeared. Instead, I was allowed to use my independent critical thinking noggin to get to the bottom of arguably the biggest untold story (that can be told) of the 21st Century. The story of what really happened in New Orleans during the Hurricane Katrina Response. The following is my account of October 9, 2018; a respectively awesome and ominous day in America for a man and hurricane named Michael.


DEN

Denver International (DEN) Airport’s Jeppesen Terminal


Exactly twenty years ago this month, I relocated from Greater Atlanta, Georgia to Henderson, Nevada. Last Tuesday morning, as I headed to Las Vegas McCarran International (LAS) Airport to catch flight to my hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, I began to hear about a Category 2 storm in the Gulf of Mexico named Hurricane Michael. Didn’t think too much of it as I had been up all night in preparation and just wanted to get a window seat and sleep.

Praying for all those affected by the natural disaster on the Florida Panhandle.

Michael


The one thing that drew me to Southern Nevada, aside from the warm weather, proximity to Cali-fornia without the Cali density and quakes, business climate, 24/7 lifestyle, allergy-free envi-ronment (at the time), popular travel destination of friends and family members, etc., was the access to around the clock non-stop flights from LAS Airport throughout the nation. I cannot recall why I chose a connecting route through Denver. I’m sure it must have been a great fare.


Nevertheless, as we’re cruising easterly on Southwest Airlines Flight 2193 at a smooth thirty-seven thousand feet, I opened one eye to see the beautiful majestic snow-covered peaks of the Continental Divide; the Rocky Mountains. Everything looked as it should so I went back to sleep. About twenty minutes later I heard a cockpit flight crew member’s voice come over the intercom and say something about the Boeing 737’s anti-icing system not working and DEN showing freezing temperatures. His next words were, “Ahh, we’re diverting to Phoenix.” I estimated that we were over Breckenridge, Colorado. Phoenix was five hundred-some miles back in the direction we had just left. I remember thinking…more time to sleep.


Okay. We sat at a gate, with passenger off-on privileges, at Phoenix Sky Harbor International (PHX) Airport for about an hour when the word came down that we were going back to the Centennial State. Alright. I pride myself on being aero-knowledgeable, especially when it comes to airport layouts. This goes back to my grade school days when I use to hand write airport managers and requesting diagrams and whatnots of their facilities. So. I see that we were cleared for a PHX easterly-flow takeoff on Runway 7L. As our 737 reached rotation speed and began to lift off, I had a clear view of the Arizona Air National Guard complex; the last Arizona stop for the remains of Senator John McCain before heading to Maryland. As for SWA Fl. 2193, we were once again Colorado-bound. I figured the ground temperature there had warmed up to the low 40’s or something making our icing issues a mute point, and resumed my high altitude nap time position.


DEN! Finally, I’m halfway to my intended destination. With about nine hours to go before I could continue on to Omaha Eppley (OMA) Airfield, what to do? The Boulder Beer Tap House in the DEN Main Jeppesen Terminal looked like just as good of as any to set up a Tom Hanks ’04 The Terminal-like camp…

 

MICHAEL

M. Woods

KATRINA

Nola.com

HARVEY

Harvey


Let me just say that IF I must connect, then DEN is my favorite airport to do so; a mega space where I always seemed to meet the most interesting of people, and have the most fascinating of conversations. And I was not disappointed on October 9, 2018. While chilling on a tap house bar stool, one after another sat down to my left and to my right. Some were arriving, some were picking up, and some were connecting like me. All were nonstop dialogues, and I was like Sponge [Mike] Square Pants soaking it all in as I was born to do.


Now, when it came time for me to share, the conversation all seemed to begin with New Orleans; probably because I was sporting a “Who Dat!” Saints’ cap the day after Drew Brees broke the all-time NFL passing record on Monday Night Football against the Washington Redskins. The first questions were, “Are you a Saints fan?” My canned response was that the cap was giving to me by a Hurricane Katrina survivor as a gift for volunteering my time down there during those post-apocalyptic days; a historical bayou city that grew to love me and visa versa, spending seven-plus years before finally returning to my Vegas Valley on a full-time basis.


In December ’06, I took a trip to San Diego and Menlo Park, California to meet with (then FEMA’s) Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMAT) CA-4 and CA-6, respectively. They were outer-suburban upper-middleclass professionals, whose tasks were to drop everything when called up and deploy to disaster zones to provide medical & moral support. I was moved after hearing their accounts and experiences. It would lead me to spend the next seven years documenting the real Katrina Response, tracking down Katrina Responders (Army, USAF, Navy, FAA, USFWS, FEMA, USCG, state, local, and more) from coast to coast under the auspices of The Contraflow Project.


I made the following bold statement to everyone I spoke with, “What in 2005 was called America’s darkest moment was really American’s brightest moment.” It’s like the old saying, If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, did it make a sound?


Why do Sandy, Harvey, Irma, Florence and even the current Michael hurricane responses receive high praises, but every time one mentions Katrina? The responders were there in New Orleans. Why has the public not been told about this? It’s no conspiracy or anything like that. There is definitely no one, or entity, pressuring me to shut up. Race did became the dominate factor. But not in the way you think. It was intra-racial. The City of New Orleans is over three hundred years old and has a unique present-past, meaning very little has changed cultural demographically. Basically, during the Hurricane Katrina Aftermath, the hyper light-skinned Negro city leaders were scared to death of the darker-hued Negro constituents; both trapped in flooded The Proverbial “Bowl” of Gumbo. Very few folks outside of the (504) RTA Street Cararea code understood this class hier-archical dynamic, including Kanye West who made the following 9.2.05 remark on live TV, “George [W.] Bush does not like Black people.” And that’s where the gvt, media, scholars, etc., left the story; everyone but me.


All that I have learned during my New Orleans odyssey / American journey, that began on 9.7.05, is dedicated via my research findings to ALL First Responders, especially those who served in New Orleans and never received the thanks of a grateful Louisiana people or a grateful nation. What started off for me in September ’05 as a humanitarian TCPrelief mission to help my fellow Black Americans turned into a passionate research project to honor my fellow White Americans; a group that in my opinion needs closure as well. They went deep down into harm’s way only to return home and find out they too were “The Blame.”


I cover BOTH sides of the so-called divide. A polarized (towards me) America was difficult for me to recognize at DEN. I conversed from the Jeppesen Terminal to the Coors Silver Bullet Sports Bar on Concourse C, where I met more beautiful Americans. Conversations that continued on to Gate C 28, and aboard SWA Fl. 3307 to OMA.


All were excited to hear about my forthcoming work. And SWA, blessed their corporate heart. I received an email the following day apologizing for the PHX diversion, and a Southwest LUV Voucher that I can use for future travel. This is why I LUV flying SWA; domestically.


Oral History Contributors

TCP Oral History Contributors: Hurricane Katrina Responders


THE CONTRAFLOW PROJECT…dedicated to ALL First Responders

To sum it up, my name is Michael and I want to make a sound. I, and my non-profit 501c3 organization Contraflow Inc., d.b.a. The Contraflow Project seeks your support for our mission to finally set the record straight. Or, as Paul Harvey use to sign off with, I want to tell, “The Rest of the Story. Good day.”


M. Darryl Woods, Lead Researcher
The Contraflow Project

@mdarrylwoods

 
 

7 Cities for 7 Books Campaign – Memphis

October 10th, 2018 Comments off

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


 
WhitehavenBusiness PlansTreme

The Contraflow Project: Shedding New Light on the Hurricane Katrina Response

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV, OCTOBER 29, 2018: 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 Memphis resident M. Darryl Woods.

Thirteen years ago 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.

In late spring ’06, one still gnawing question for Woods was why did Delta Airlines 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, 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 humanitarian Flight 9900 in and out of MSY on September 1, 2005, had to say would ultimately lead to Woods transitioning focus from solely that of the survivors’ saga to the vastly overlooked responders’ experiences.

His curiosity now aroused, in Dec. ’06, Woods set out on a Katrina Responders fact-finding mission to San Diego, L.A., SF Bay Area, Portland, Seattle, Atlanta and Memphis. After listening to five members of Tennessee Task Force One Urban Search and Rescue team members at the Fire Department HQ in Germantown, Tennessee detail their deployment into the New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish flood zones, Woods was all in on the Katrina response big picture.

With guarded media relations officers a nonissue for Woods, TCP’s 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 once the sequence of events is understood, the true story of Katrina can be understood.”

Woods traces his social entrepreneurial spirit back to 1980s, when he moved to Whitehaven as a twenty-two year old and started a business with his childhood friend the late Al Gray. He wrote the Tennessee Dept. of Economics in Nashville and requested a ‘how to’ packet. The State responded, he studied and was soon developing business plans. TCP’s Co-founder says, “I approved upon the knowledge attained in Memphis, and I’m using it right now to get this mega project about a mega disaster to fruition”

Today, 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 in November 2018.

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

###

 
 

7 Cities for 7 Books Campaign – Seattle

October 10th, 2018 Comments off

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


 
The MissionThe FactsCA-6Treme

The Contraflow Project: Shedding New Light on the Hurricane Katrina Response

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV, OCTOBER 29, 2018: 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 Beacon Hill resident M. Darryl Woods.

M. Woods says, “In June ’90, I arrived from the Bay Area at the Seattle Greyhound Bus Terminal with a quarter in my pocket. I went straight to Madden Labor on Pike Street who hired me on the spot for a job that night at the AT&T Gateway Tower. When I got off work the next morning, I sought shelter at the Union Gospel Mission.” On July 2, 1990, he left the mission and was once again a functioning member of society. Woods credits the UGM, Madden and a caring Uruguayan American for providing an environment conducive to getting his life together.

On March 26, 1994, M. Woods launched the Afromation Educational Movement to Integrate American History at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in the Seattle Central District. That same evening he hosted a “Black History Party and it’s Not Even February” booksigning and social event at the SeaTac Red Lion. The rally cry was, “Too Much History For Just One Month!”

1994

Thirteen years ago the world watched in dismay the humanitarian crisis down on the bayou called “Katrina.” A mega disaster that overnight made one million people homeless. Forever in pay-it-forward mode, on September 7, 2005, Woods redirected Afromation’s focus on New Orleans 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.

In late spring ’06, one still gnawing question for Woods was why did Delta Airlines 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, 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 humanitarian Flight 9900 in and out of MSY on September 1, 2005, had to say would ultimately lead to Woods transitioning focus lead to Woods transitioning focus from solely that of the survivors’ saga to the vastly overlooked responders’ experiences. The new rally cry was, “What really happened in New Orleans!”

His curiosity now aroused, in Dec. ’06, Woods set out on a Katrina Responders fact-finding mission to San Diego, L.A., SF Bay Area, Portland, Seattle, Atlanta and Memphis. Unexpectedly, a rare west of the Cascades “Arctic Blast” prevented the Seattle “homecoming” visit. However, WA-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) Commander Bill Engler was very accommodating via the phone and Internet. After hearing his experiences at MSY Airport, Woods was all in on the Katrina response big picture.

With guarded media relations officers a nonissue for Woods, TCP’s 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 once the sequence of events is understood, the true story of Katrina can be understood.”

2008

Today 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 in November 2018.

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

###

 
 
 

7 Cities for 7 Books Campaign – San Diego

October 10th, 2018 Comments off

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


 
Katrina ResponseTreme

The Contraflow Project: Shedding New Light on the Hurricane Katrina Response

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV, OCTOBER 29, 2018: 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 M. Darryl Woods.

Thirteen years ago 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.

In late spring ’06, one still gnawing question for Woods was why did Delta Airlines 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, 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 humanitarian Flight 9900 in and out of MSY on September 1, 2005, had to say would ultimately lead to Woods transitioning focus from solely that of the survivors’ saga to the vastly overlooked responders’ experiences.

His curiosity now aroused, in Dec. ’06, Woods set out on a Katrina Responders fact-finding mission to San Diego, L.A., SF Bay Area, Portland, Seattle, Atlanta and Memphis. Close to twenty members of the CA-4 Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) in San Diego showed up. Woods says, “Seeing the pain in their eyes for essentially being caught up in the perception that the federal government was slow to move on New Orleans because of race, was unforgettable.” After hearing their MSY Airport deployment experiences in detail, Woods was all in on the Katrina response big picture.

Woods’ Dec. ’06 DMAT CA-4 interview in San Diego

With guarded media relations officers a nonissue for Woods, TCP’s 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 once the sequence of events is understood, the true story of Katrina can be understood.”

Today 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” in November 2018.

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

###

 
 
 

7 Cities for 7 Books Campaign – San Francisco Bay Area

October 10th, 2018 Comments off

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

 
 
RespondersCA-6Treme

The Contraflow Project: Shedding New Light on the Hurricane Katrina Response

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV, OCTOBER 29, 2018: 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 Oakland, California Lake Merritt Neighborhood resident M. Darryl Woods.

Twenty-eight years ago M. Woods departed a homeless shelter on MacDonald Street in Richmond, California. He boarded a Greyhound bus, courtesy of Contra Costa County, bound for the Puget Sound Region where jobs were plentiful. Within thirty days, he was back to being a contributing member of society. “I credit the staff at the Bay Area Rescue Mission for providing me with an environment conducive to getting my life together,” says Woods. He goes on to say, “I also thank Gospel Search Ministries‘ Dr. Madalynn Peterson for her angelic message of hope.” It was the next day, following her visit to evening worship service, that Woods decided to flow northward to the Emerald City; Seattle, Washington.

Bay Area Rescue Mission in Richmond

BARM

On March 26, 1994, M. Woods launched the Afromation Educational Movement to Integrate American History at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in the Seattle Central District. In ’96, Oakland Tribune Columnist Brenda Payton wrote about Woods in a piece titled, “Integrating History.” He left the East Bay homeless man. He returned to the East Bay an accomplished author.

Thirteen years ago the world watched in dismay the humanitarian crisis down on the bayou called “Katrina.” A mega disaster that essentially made a million people homeless. On September 7, 2005, M. Woods in perpetual pay-it-forward mode since Richmond, 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.

In late spring ’06, one still gnawing question for Woods was why did Delta Airlines 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, 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 humanitarian Flight 9900 in and out of MSY on September 1, 2005, had to say would ultimately lead to Woods transitioning focus from solely that of the survivors’ saga to the vastly overlooked responders’ experiences.

His curiosity now aroused, in Dec. ’06, Woods set out on a Katrina Responders fact-finding mission to San Diego, L.A., SF Bay Area, Portland, Seattle, Atlanta and Memphis. It was the Menlo Park, California interview of CA-6 Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) members Dave Lipin, Barbara Morita-Wake and Richard Brown that would touch his heart. After hearing their courageous and harrowing Superdome deployment experiences in detail, Woods was all in on the Katrina response big picture.

Woods’ Dec. ’06 D. Lipin interview in Menlo Park


 

Woods’ Jan ’07 R. Brown interview at the Superdome

With guarded media relations officers a nonissue for Woods, TCP’s 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 once the sequence of events is understood, the true story of Katrina can be understood.”

Today 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 in November 2018.

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

###

 
 
 
 

7 Cities for 7 Books Campaign – Portland

October 10th, 2018 Comments off

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


 
Katrina ResponseTreme

The Contraflow Project: Shedding New Light on the Hurricane Katrina Response

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV, OCTOBER 29, 2018: 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 Pacific Northwest resident M. Darryl Woods.

On March 26, 1994, M. Woods launched the Afromation Educational Movement to Integrate American History at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in the Seattle Central District. The rally cry was, “Too Much History For Just One Month!”

Thirteen years ago the world watched in dismay the humanitarian crisis down on the bayou called “Katrina.” On September 7, 2005, Afromation redirected its focus on New Orleans 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.

In late spring ’06, one still gnawing question for Woods was why did Delta Airlines 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, 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 humanitarian Flight 9900 in and out of MSY on September 1, 2005, had to say would ultimately lead to Woods transitioning focus from solely that of the survivors’ saga to the vastly overlooked responders’ experiences. The new rally cry was, “What really happened in New Orleans!”

His curiosity now aroused, in Dec. ’06, Woods set out on a Katrina Responders fact-finding mission to San Diego, L.A., SF Bay Area, Portland, Seattle, Atlanta and Memphis. Unexpectedly, a rare west of the Cascades “Arctic Blast” prevented the Portland visit. However, current Air National Guard Command Chief and then Oregon Air National Guard 125th Special Tactical Squardron combat controller (CCT) Chief Master Sgt James Hotaling, was very accommodating via the phone and Internet. After hearing his experiences in the New Orleans flood zone, Woods was all in on the Katrina response big picture.

How do you safely airlift tens of thousands of Katrina Survivors from elevated concrete and land thousands of time with not one helo collision? Air Force pilots and CCTs; for one.

With guarded media relations officers a nonissue for Woods, TCP’s 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 once the sequence of events is understood, the true story of Katrina can be understood.”

Today 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 in November 2018.

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

###

 
 

7 Cities for 7 Books Campaign – Atlanta

October 10th, 2018 Comments off

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

 
 
Katrina ResponseTHPTreme
 

The Contraflow Project: Shedding New Light on the Hurricane Katrina Response

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV, OCTOBER 29, 2018: 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.

Thirteen years ago 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.

In late spring ’06, one still gnawing question for Woods wass 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 ultimately 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 once the sequence of events is understood, the true story of Katrina can be understood.”

Today 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 in November 2018.

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

###