WWL>Topics>>8-25 The Think Tank 1210pm, live from the City of New Orleans’ media center at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

8-25 The Think Tank 1210pm, live from the City of New Orleans’ media center at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Aug 25, 2015|

Media from around the country and globe are here in the Crescent City to cover the 10 year anniversary of Katrina and the worst disaster in the history of America. All week Garland Robinette will broadcast live from the City of New Orleans’ media center at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel. We’ll look at the story we’ve been living from all angles–rescue, recovery & rebirth. Joining Garland today: Mayor Mitch Landrieu...Mark Romig--President & CEO of New Orleans Tourism & Marketing Crop...Kurt Weigle—President & CEO of the Downtown Development District...David Skinner, GM of the Saenger Theater...political analyst Clancy Dubos...plus former TV anchors Norman Robinson, Dennis Woltering & our News Director Dave Cohen.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

I welcome back on the rubber that with the finally we're here it's special. Katrina didn't think they live in the beat you sooner in particular to New Orleans now. And awe and joy and with some well very good brand new old ball out and that is faltering forward doubled up BO television music critic so good to see him right to see you right to be here river talking about we and back in the day when peculiar look loom that he does so without told us that they have children. Norman Robinson former. Is cute news anchor welcome. I have seen you because our girls went school ago that absolutely my blog wars we're really quickly. I. My horse do around the world that. Really paid off the Tokyo. And big court court. There radio. Guys who do you save in my bacon with the programs and news welcomed Putin's. I hope you enjoyed it absolutely has certainly a development would. Not burn unit. All right dinners from groups or unit at some basics off you know. People here you can review and tell me. In and I think they beat to root ball. When you go from something like you know. These guys are. In deprive the kid that with pollutants and I'm probably it will not experiencing. All the while the blue lagoon the root end up. Well we sort out the studio and it was like clause angry at the at the very end before it removal from higher. And he thankfully that's you have got to you know the studio because the lock the doors of the high. And so we had close and often to the crew in that rouge who were broadcasting. We go to Ohio at that night or ones camp out on the floor or floor. In sleeping bags. And you hear noises outside. We each had rooms in the Hoya and at one point biographer on a smaller room. And the windows were blown out at you want to going to give it a shot of and we opened the door and with the public's sake you know suck it that way so I held on to a league should. It was unbelievable to me that the win was just unbelievable. That that was or experience at the hotel that they would blow outside the windows that will round last and to re all over the place. But you know it looked like. That's the thing that we didn't know what we know what qualities. And that was after hours or so who worked at Roland that yeah. I don't. Well look what happened wouldn't go that route or well nobody speaks bureau which is sort of a reunion here yeah will also after after the quiet we went to the station. And we at least at the station for a night. And you know it was losing light at that point the communication was going out. We actually interviewed Nagin taking him over that evening and we had no one alive for fifteen minutes. And he was briefing us on what he knew based on the flight over from the ago. And he woes sheik because you know the twins fans were out like in Mosul with flooding on both sides. Flooding of rooftops. People launch on rooftops and addicts trapped screaming for help. Bodies already you know floating in the water. So it was you know 80% of global the city underwater. It was devastating and you know it was or person I'm really accurate model semi. Before that in the quiet. They can at a news conference and he says you know getting calls people corrupted addicts you know getting calls people. You know people line. Police were talking to one police officer in an addict who couldn't get out and they problem as he died I mean it was. Desperate times news really but so we're we're the in the station for that night in the next day. Weakness there was a rumor that the flooding was at the French were so we had to get out and we knew we went over to war transmitters in Britain. He spent two nights there. And or broadcasting. Willie Wilson. Or rape photographers. My memories of that it was. Were logged in the in these transmitters like in Italy went to the Algiers. Very. Who lives resentment Latin prisoners. And it remember that banner you have behind you right but definitely an industrial wrote yeah at and Willie had come back from the Algiers. Very. And all these people across from the very from sink or who were on the Libby if they were rescued the rooftops taken to below the and they were coming off the line there were tears and you know they. Certain that this was like two days later. And they had eaten there Leo relief desperate situation and he was showing showing video telling about it. It was one of the most dramatic moments. I think of that that period for me. And then after that we so we were there but two days of that we went that route because the lawlessness was getting control. Crews were afraid when there were in the street that the live via hijacked carjacked and the depths of the companies that. There's gonna go that route and came back. You know every data covered the story. And then a week later I came back announcement that stay at the station slipped in the office at the station over from there. It was a it was an interest on both the Internet but no limbo in private. But they don't know there. That's a. All right covered right but I look at Norman Robinson with the state court and pocket of all that if accurate anniversary. It's our special. Think from the coach her to New Orleans well some of these. In promoting actions then right back are welcome back on rob you know with the special Katrina and think tank report line puritan. New Orleans who don't. A good day core adhered to and wall for a Norman Robinson Norman. Former W he would shoot news anchor Orman talked troops during Katrina after Katrina. We're cooped it was a real. It. At that moment. It was almost like him out of bodies here. And we always used. That it. Most people. As people lord well. This experience for the first time in my life where I experienced it deals with it got personal immediately. And that the that the Obama said at the outset because you could see the storm forming in the gulf. It was bigger than the entire Gulf of Mexico and I think it was Friday night that it became real enemy. That we were in trouble that this was the one that we goal in the a rate it's going to finally happened and I think that that the most. Poignant moment. Well Mark Roberts. Pain during the interview with Max Mayfield director of technical working tied it and we we were interviewing him in our 10 o'clock news. And we asked the question looking at the storm. Mr. mayfield well. Would you think that this is time to haul them back two weeks ago here. He said. I can't give you advice because that's outside of my my realm outside my purview but if I or in New Orleans I would be thinking the same thing. Because this is the one that we've we've all been fearful. And after that we had the mayor in for an interview. And so I can recall we had a vote it up in in the studio gates to the one in which we were broadcast. Studio B the studio we do although the arsenals and children's health. With that. Apparently of phone banks in the people called it means record directions on where to go out back wait what its content flow what's the best route today. And I interviewed the mayor in front of a phobic and I kept asking him arrested mr. mayor you have 100000 people without transportation in this city we just interviewed. The director of the national hurricane. Sooner and he says this is the one that we've all been waiting for the past forty years what you can do. Visas mayor instead while we might call an evacuation we're going to look at that but there are some things that we have to think about four and market but their. You have a 100000. People. Pool or virtually without threat that you have one of the force on populations in the entire country. In in in most of York city's. On low lying areas what what what you believe what you can do about it and it was at that point that it be BB king bird or. I mean at the journalists. You wanna help people go hit and yet now we hear it right but that's not your that's your authority. That that's not that York York purview. And it up to the officials called the market seed that you need to call back you which at that moment. Right at that very moment and I kept pressing the mayor and I oppressing them there hoping you would say well you go out tomorrow more that would insanity. And he says he does that there are some fine he's that there are some legal issues that we have to be concerned about war. Week in it hue and and evacuations so we go on into the broadcast. That night I think that you know about medium in the morning I get home. And I'm thinking I'm going back on the year in New Orleans you know win and then a few hours I get a phone call it. 58 you know I've been asleep for about two things. Get out we want you moved to our sister station in Jackson Mississippi because we are rate. That our power is going to be under 25 to thirty if you walk. Now WWL power was it because they were on the west by. Our tower was in lower saint Bernard parish ouch how the ironically they had talked about putting me interest spare Bayern. In that broadcast power in the event that we were knocked out the year that we can continue broadcasting from mayor and I that. What you guys race are you out you're right it's a well hit it left it through working at the president up. That was before erosion the wetlands have you been out there is urgently. Do you have no coastal ocean. Going down interest that I'm not going down there either so they came up with this other plan that was does ship was half the staff to. Jackson Mississippi where we have WE PT our sister station and we will be on stand by in the event that our our power went there with it surely will. Everybody anticipated that happening. And on the morning that that storm. Orders or art or in the round and happened nine hours on the flow frustration I've finally made it Jack it immediately put us. We dates that up. A makeshift. Studio in there and they're parking raw. A garage and that's what we lived well the next two weeks it was pretty. Very. Harrowing experience to the extent that you didn't know what was going UConn rating in the dark. You're getting information. From the wire service were getting phone calls from the mayor and I got an interview with mayor Nagin. On the day after the storm. On blue through and then the levees broke and he was telling us that the war was going to be nine feet. In the author Charles avenue. So you can imagine the panic that was created by that kind of projection assessment a lot of misinformation a lot of Medea but this was coming from the mayor. Is that the you know that this quarter rising and in the whole city don't be lost with it you know it gets we've we're expecting by 9 o'clock at night that have ninety water. On things all happen. And so my god we're just there. With with with with with our hits and and and pulling out here what here that I have left thinking you know. Always going to do our heat went totally be lost so we're broadcasting and finally. We get some loot that the water has. Reached this level. And that it's probably not going to we think troll avenue for the rich border. In fact the eighty into the cities on the water and that's about it and yet there and contain. The breaches in the levees in the mud hole and I talk to my friend in the Thornton from the food and more importantly that. We hear well because the war has just recently in with the language Terry put Italy and it's gonna come privately and while but thank god. The majority of the salute to world war people's day at their pulse. Even in harm's way even at the threat of ground. Many of the stated that both got the pumps working they they restarted the electricity. It's obvious now they electricity we're. You know the city at that up its command post at the Hyatt regency right. Yeah. Which more or was the only functioning agency. Had electricity so that was in the people out and they were the first to report that the levees it. Because they are wondering where all the war with them for a they are wondering. Why the water wasn't going down when they had re kick the pumps restarting the and they went out the vote in discovery and they inform. In the cold and the ears that that that that the Libby Lou large yeah Charles Barron that is firefighters do this of these street now is was reached average produces you know after the absolutely they knew all about it before the federal government and state agencies knew anything. Well now we found out later that the White House knew they didn't tell anybody can the communications with the bat that fact a helicopter come off of a carrier in the gulf. And flown over the levees and confirmed the break didn't hold the White House. But the White House couldn't get that information back to the stage regularly click of all the sort of portable or good they had wanted to fire department they had communication they just denote the left and didn't know what the right it was doing that we felt at least that's helped with that because we knew. That our government. We're gonna we knew. First hand first and foremost. In fact that our government with it that they federal government was and that the state government with a net in that city government was bought that was really. Heart pills while a lot of that was following the rules interviewed general lottery last week and he was saying that the rules require. The people rules require that you fax request of you wanna helicopter. The city has the fax request to the governor's office and the governor's office has the facts are request to the news the White House and the. And that if there was no facts there was no communication with doctor it's your starter Charlie having comets that. What these guys had no comment that you know they've looked at that that that situation well the policy of we have to rely on what's in the book they didn't have enough fortitude comments that just do what needed to be done. They were general operating on himself brought the rules. Thank god he repeat it but it was and I enjoyed it because credibility you know about you went to people who work they're still information worked well. Yeah it was on the impacted in the world's early. On with Korea we interviewed lottery and he what he talked about. Basically Celek woman whose communications were the mayors of the times that the the team a guy. The local Lima had a meeting with lottery amen to you he was explaining the process the rules you have to follow in order to get help and assistance. In utterance that. Utterance that didn't shortly after all that and they don't you have some success this. Evident that John McCain absolutely and. Right and in the meantime most of the citizenry. Impacted by the storms were to a very. Personal from all of us at our story you though I had personal story that came very very. Impact me my granddaughter was missing. She evacuated with my ex wife. And I had no idea where they've war at a time when this went on for four. Hole. Dates for old place and it you can admire try to do your job I'm trying to do my job you can imagine. While you're doing these marathon rock at Q on radio so you know light in you that you debut on radio you're on television likely Dennis. You understood what I like that job came first. Serving the public in force. And what was going on in my personal life hectic place the few hours ahead between being on the year that you larger hole I lost yup my home had eight B water so I didn't know about that. Until you know all week later. But meantime I was frantically searching for migrant door who was in Picayune Mississippi that I found out I can be found out Susan written you know. Four days later. When I can directs that you've that was it was all right yeah but that you know that that we're winning you. Yeah the both Ford and they have no water they have no no power and nothing like everybody else so. That you the the managers at the station saw how frantic that was about it so they gave you carte harper it's get down the Picayune does that together so we hope. I don't like reproduce. Government backed them Walter and David Corn. And Norman brought. In a day you're gonna hear stories you've never heard. So with the goal of rubber that the spiritual good pre attempting to live for sure to New Orleans. Are welcome back. Go rub it with this is finally this special Katrina and think tank report her annual. O. Dealt with the hope the Sudanese media information center a think you can stay witnesses well or you're here at the injury happened bird book work. Repeat according to Walt ring Norman Robinson. And go over to Dave Gordon. Talk to me when when it was going on. You know we've had a lot of both Norman and death of touch on the personal. Level of this story and you know as journalists. Our job is to tell the story to deliver the news to be to take a step back. And to tell what what's going on without being involved but we were all using words like IE in me and I'll work city. And toss when describing what was happening because we were all living it. While we were reporting it and there was no way around that but I guess to me that the biggest. Moment where that became so crystal clear was when we had confirmation. That the levees were broken. And we just talked to the Army Corps of Engineers that date before. And they describe the worst case scenarios they thought showed us the slosh models of where all the water would go if the levees were over topped or breached. And they talked about the toxic soup that would fill the city for six months before they can drain it clean. And when we saw at first light. Those sandbags the size of eighteen wheelers being dropped into the breach in the seventeenth street canal Levy and they just disappear. Like he would dissolving in the water and make no difference at all. I remember at that moment believing. Eight the city was gonna fill with water until the lot level with the same in the cities it was in the lake. And the kids getting on the radio and begging and beating anybody who refused to leave or who could not leave prior. To find anyway. To get to the elevated system of the roadways. Whether it was the I ten or so much for expressways. For the Claiborne or get to some elevated road wake and bake your way. To the Crescent City connection because there was no on their way out and we knew the water wasn't gonna stop. At that. At that time I was worried about reporting the facts and figures in the statistics and humanizing the story I'm just worried about. Making these people to get out before they all died and and and that to me it was. How personal this became for all of us because we were in the middle of it and knew there was nothing they can be done to stop it and the government. Had no light deal with the and the public was depending on last tell them all they want it they wanted to see what impact the storm had on their city. On their communities on their neighbors on their families on their friends and we were able to provide. Some kind of demonstration. Our exhibit of what had happened because the first thing I'd that was what in my house. I want to my house in and visually recorder and didn't report a walk through what kind of devastation. At occurred as a result of the urgency I saw our house that no longer resembled anything. But recognized as a whole. Everything in it was totally. This integrated is as if someone had gone in with a small nuclear device. And is exploded. You walk in and your your your your your. So. It's what it's like it's it's it's it has deep materialized. Is that is that it's an does that register. No you it it doesn't register because you can't comprehend this kind of you can't even conceptualize. This kind of devastation it's something that as a journalist and we've seen just about. Everything on our you can mention we see nothing. Here that. I mean the of them the the mole the proliferation of this moldy things this smell that I that nobody about it and you can't surely there a sodium into watching the coverage on TV is nothing like seeing it in person committed just whose sole. Huge obstacle bet yeah it it just it was like this giant amoeba that just. Walden encompassed in the in in in the follower everything and it was justices were released silence everything was just ready and. I'm a little gorilla like Soledad at Saint Bernard dancing house is on top of cars cars on top of house's. Houses that had been you couldn't tell where they came from you look at the actress on items in the middle of the street. And there were no. House is anywhere round where it should have been he could watch throughout Ohio foundation yet and then you go inside somebody's house as if you're trying to take pictures shoot video tell the story. And you should know what you know. That. And you look at the attic and you know. What's up there and that was so difficult to continue to do your job. You can that your old hole yeah I thought I refuse to go quite got manic that would go to my people had been. Asking me nobody. They still all these victories in the Oprah that in the world the like I remember the rolling in the open the clintons we accept it. And people kept texting me what's going on in in the New Orleans and what's happening in Spring Lake what's happening in the below what's happening in east lake. I you know what's happening in east over so I would in my house to show them happening and it was just totally Hartman. It was just at the it's it's like somebody just Cold War out from under. Its interest in the water came and so that the Clark took a department on top the car civil. The air couldn't the water came in faster than the air could get out partially loaded like bubbles to the camp outs sometimes those first it was in Atlanta opera houses are standing straight up the right in Iowa debris and you have these people from the insurance companies coming up to get what they call came into the orders of justice that commitment to ask stupid questions that you really protect. In the a if a look like and looks like you have a burglary here because. Are you just don't put all. Our and that threat that. They're with is you're listening to a court in Walton Orman. Those that brought you coverage on Katrina put it all so lived through a little bit of power and the app from. Governor right back come Garland rather than it's been through Katrina hit the bank report sure to New Orleans who. Golub wrote the group with its boats through could threaten that didn't think tank report puritan New Orleans hotel. Right now though with the Sudanese media that the world we do then naturally he's unique in that. And I've got three things here that I cared to viewers don't feel pretty that The Who never wore. They've core into the wall for an Norman Robinson. Strange question who's a more boots or view. There after everything was Kuo. And and we mean in the recovery mode and you're going to mineral water we use as people will listen. Listening yeah given what we are covering the economy apocalyptic tale was in my health sub was. Of which track the roads and Jacksonville watching you got a twenty B. When you're doing that kind of ruins of reporting. Or do you really think getting the resilient through million. Though I go to Ramallah and not really we just try to communicate with someone and not really thinking about who was out there or I mean we were on the Internet basically because. The elderly property you had a one point eight million people watching a man and a battle with who and at some table. That were picking us up and and covered so yeah yeah yeah we at that. What happened doing them off people listening we we we did know we gave we have no idea when. You think it though we we were streaming on the Internet we were you know. Radio simulcast saying in people. On the national networks were picked up Marco we had no idea who was being who was being impacted to be over. Well what happened was this rate human action took place and people just want it. That what it some contact your voice that they that the right. They wanted to hear. Stories about places they. Still they were listening they were listening not so much for information. They were listening. Who's through to confirm. Their human. That's the lace a clear there there birth there ward and oh there there family was going to survive it and somehow we we we've we've loans are loans that. Somehow the fact that we both we were still here. And that we would still broadcasting. Gave him hole that there was some. Glamour of the chance displeased with news Dave Cohen you read and what he's saying. I was proud to my dad who water up promote. This mean you. You know I think you've had it and think ever all of us in the media had it and even to this day where people come up and say I'll never forget when I heard use today. Or I'll never forget that person you talked and it's hard when we're doing it we're doing our jobs. And we're trying to do the best damn job we can and we create this separation between letting it affect us emotionally too much. To where we become the lumbering fools. And we have to send a lot of that aside but yeah I mean people come up to me still now and say I'll never forget when you announced the levees that broke. And the work and they'll repeat back to me work that I've even forgotten accent. But they remember more people say I'll never forget sitting in my car after fourteen hours trying to evacuate it hearing Garland Robinette talking to silence him and me. It is that personal connection but it's a two way street because. Those people who calling us trapped in their attic trapped on the rooftops into one woman I'll never forget that the woman who had a baby. And a three year old in her arms in the water with the federal waste when we started the call with up to her chest before we finished and I finally told her swim out the window and get on the roof. But it was those people. Before the city. What the state where the Fed to confirm the levees were broken they were telling us something was horribly wrong people calling you telling you they're trapped in your attic. We're telling us wait a minute this isn't supposed to be happening following dodge double that's in the that's how we do they told us what was going yeah yeah. Calls for grossly holds people on your pleading for help pleading for someone to get to them. That was sort of a helpless feeling for us because there wasn't much we could do in terms of the helping them. But they were pleading and we were you know reeling after prior prior relayed that to look. You emergency workers people who could do it. Yeah I got I got text the text work some reason on the so that was the early days attacks that texting or I was touched by a group of nurses who were trapped. In Methodist hospital of New Orleans east couldn't get out hadn't had no way of communicating with anybody that they were in there and they were trying to say people they were trying to save the babies they were trying to say they. Elderly people who were on results that gators and they text they say please get us help so I was able detects the police chief. Oh Warren were obvious that no moral compass Annika and it comes at a time but I checked deputy chief. Warren widely. At the time because he was he was visiting my brother in law who's in Algiers in in part to Amber's. My brother was cooking for everybody in Algiers was spared. And he had a generator so he was looking for all first responders and warned it would come by they eat. And my brother I was able to get a message to warm any of these nurses were trapped. And come in in in method Methodist Methodist Hospital so that kind of boat load. Relaying the information. Was what's ought to go far. In the in the sense that you you felt like you were doing so that you felt like you were doing your job has as a broadcaster that's what. We're here at the old view with with Megan but he game on. Radio that night after days of the way no help from the state though. Screaming for help. You look like big moment. We threw 3 o'clock in the morning. And L wounds and then all meter cube walked to. Who's who called to and one woman from them at Roland Kohl. Re wrong with Peru yeah went from England. And it's a couple hired and threw for a few super from the call them the she's so we're streaming on the Internet. And so what says that although the computer but not a lot but you've. Or is it. That's excellent you know I it was a U Cuba but you've got. But it's still talk about it. We've only had about like a minute. Them. How we do. I think we're doing well but the wetlands are still in trouble in ten years we have not done anything major with the wetlands and in ten years we've lost hundreds of thousands of bookmakers so we're in trouble. A normal. I think like Dennis we are I think we're just oblivious to reality what's taking place in this entire country I think our our our. Nationalistic leaders are totally oblivious to the fact. That's the most. Dangerous the enemy to this day to through this country is the crumbling infrastructure and the poor management of our water resources near you. I'm doing all right mine the city and here we can talk about the resilience of the city in the comeback of the city. And in most. Publicly. Shown areas yet the city's doing great but there are those pockets where we all know where things have not recovered with things have not come back in the city. Better than ever perhaps doesn't have a long way to go absolutely. Can we handle another Katrina right now gotta open on trying to. Gomez thank you so much for this hour I can guarantee you'd use and out who's on all around this country. Very theory introducing arms and thank you to thank you but governor I've decks Garland rub it over with the spirit who could prudent to think tank we're sure to New Orleans who now. Home of the city's media relations Sen. Variety June not go away at school is coming up next. We're going to be back again tomorrow. During the Katrina didn't think tank meat you sooners Cheryl to New Orleans hotel du goal weight of a video. Negates every male model five the reassembling them.