(Photo by Tom Sawyer for ENR)
Following our tradition of on-the- scene coverage of major news events, ENR dispatched reporters and photographers to Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi to tell the story of relief and recovery in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The hurricane and subsequent flooding were an unspeakable human tragedy. There has been much talk of what should have been done 10 years ago or what could have been done five years ago. But this is today, and as always, engineers and contractors are on the front lines of digging out and restoring vital services. We will tell their stories in these pages.

Associate Editor Tom Sawyer and Contributing Photographer Michael Goodman teamed up with New Orleans correspondent Angelle Bergeron in Baton Rouge. They interviewed Brig. Gen. Robert Crear and Maj. Gen. Don Riley, who are running the local operations for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to get an overview of the work.

On the Scene. Sawyer and Bergeron interview Corps of Engineers Gen. Crear in Baton Rouge. Photographer Goodman accompanied the general on a tour to
inspect damage. (Photo courtesy of USACE/Alfred Dulaney)

Bergeron, a regular contributor to ENR’s sister publication Louisiana Contractor, is one of the millions displaced by Hurricane Katrina. After a late-night viewing of Mayor Ray Nagin pleading for residents to evacuate, she packed up and hit the road on Sunday, Aug. 28. With camping gear, supplies, two dogs and a truck, she made her way to a campground in northwest Louisiana to ride out the storm. She returned to Baton Rouge to work with Sawyer from Louisiana Contractor’s offices.

Andrew Wright, the managing senior editor of ENR.com, made his way to Vicksburg, Miss., to cover work at the Corps of Engineers’ Mississippi Valley division headquarters. When New Orleans was evacuated, 1,300 Corps employees were dispersed. A cadre of 60 went to Vicksburg to set up field operations and coordinate frontline relief.

Rounding out coverage, Birmingham correspondent Michael Powers traveled south and reported on damage to the Alabama coast.