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August 18, 2010

The Weather Channel Marks 5-Year Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with World TV Premiere of Forgotten on the Bayou

Award-winning documentary anchors network's ‘Hurricane Week' with Katrina-related programming and new episodes of ‘Storm Stories' beginning Aug. 22

Meteorologists Jim Cantore and Mike Bettes will provide live reports from New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast

(ATLANTA) Aug. 18, 2010 - The Weather Channel® (TWC) marks the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina during "Hurricane Week," Aug. 22-29, with the world television premiere of "Forgotten on the Bayou," Friday, Aug. 27 at 8 p.m. ET. This powerful award-winning documentary tells one man's incredible story of surviving Hurricane Katrina and his journey to get his message of rebuilding New Orleans directly to the president of the United States.

Like many others affected by Katrina, Rockey Vaccarella and his family lost everything, but he was determined to rebuild his hometown. A year later, the slow progress and recovery fueled Rockey's ambition to get in front of the president to let him know that the residents of New Orleans are still here and how there is still more work to be done. "Forgotten on the Bayou" - (2007) documents Rockey's journey to the White House, which gained worldwide media attention.

During "Hurricane Week," TWC will showcase Katrina-related programming including the premiere of "Riding It Out," narrated by Storm Tracker Jim Cantore that tells survival stories of people who decided to stay during the evacuation of Hurricane Katrina. In addition, new episodes of the popular series "Storm Stories" and additional hurricane-related specials will be shown throughout the week.

Beginning Aug. 27, live on-location reports from Cantore and fellow meteorologist Mike Bettes will be given from New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast to speak with residents on what progress has been made five years later.

The themed week will be sponsored by Duracell, the world's leading manufacturer of high-performance alkaline batteries, which will be featured during severe weather tips, tropics updates and lifestyle segments.

"Hurricane Week" programming highlights include:

  • "Forgotten on the Bayou" (premieres Aug. 27, 8 p.m. ET) After seeking refuge on his rooftop and holding onto a rope for four hours to stay alive during Hurricane Katrina, Rockey Vaccarella, a former Golden Glove champion, knew that quitting was not an option. After noticing the government's sluggish pace to rebuild his neighborhood and other parts of New Orleans, Rockey decided to hook up a mock FEMA trailer and drive from Louisiana to the White House in order to meet with the president.
  • "Riding It Out" (premieres Aug. 23, 8 p.m. ET) - This half-hour documentary tells harrowing survival stories of some New Orleans residents who stayed behind as Hurricane Katrina approaches, despite evacuation warnings. For many, that decision will prove deadly.
  • "Storm Stories: Katrina Animals" (premieres Aug. 22, 8 p.m. ET) - When Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast; thousands of humans lost their lives or were displaced. There were also thousands of forgotten victims of the storm - the animals who were left behind. Relief organizations moved in and set up camp in Mississippi and remained for several months working to rescue these animals.
  • "Storm Stories: Katrina Dolphins" (premieres Aug. 22, 9:30 p.m. ET) - Hurricane Katrina, the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, affected the Gulf Coast's animal population too. Katrina's massive storm surge sweeps eight captive dolphins into the Gulf of Mexico. Rescuers race against the clock to save the dolphins from bloodthirsty sharks, debris laced water and imminent starvation.
  • "In His Own Words; Brian Williams on Hurricane Katrina" (airs Aug. 23, 8:30 p.m. ET) - Brian Williams of "NBC Nightly News" brings viewers along on an unforgettable journey as he conducts day-to-day reports during and following Hurricane Katrina. This half-hour special features eyewitness accounts and Williams' reports on devastated areas as well as on his experiences at the Superdome in New Orleans.

To learn more about "Hurricane Week" and TWC programming, visit www.weather.com/tv


About The Weather Channel Companies
The Weather Channel companies (TWCC) are made up of The Weather Channel® television network, The Weather Channel digital properties, and WSI. The Weather Channel is based in Atlanta and is seen in more than 100 million U.S. households. TWCC also operates Weatherscan®, a 24-hour all-local weather network; The Weather Channel Radio Network; and The Weather Channel HD. The most popular source of weather news and information, TWCC properties reach 60 million monthly Web consumers (weather.com and Desktop) and 32 million monthly mobile users (mobile Web and applications) and offers the second most popular mobile app on all smartphones. WSI, headquartered in Andover, MA, primarily provides business-to-business weather services, particularly for the media, aviation, marine and energy sectors. TWCC is owned by a consortium made up of NBC Universal and the private equity firms The Blackstone Group and Bain Capital. For more information, visit www.weather.com/press.