“We know why the levees broke. We already built levees that won’t break the same way again,” narrates the Atlantic staff writer Vann R. Newkirk II in Floodlines. “But as for the people—those who couldn’t come back—the neighborhoods and communities that just stand as memorials now while others thrive, there are lots of things that no levees could fix. Some things that were maybe even deeper than earth and water.”
It’s this story, of what lies deeper than earth and water—of a disaster waiting just below the surface, seeped into the legacy of America—that forms Floodlines, a gripping eight-part podcast from The Atlantic examining what happened in New Orleans after the levees broke. Reported and hosted by Vann R. Newkirk II, executive produced by Katherine Wells, and produced by Alvin Melathe and Kevin Townsend, Floodlines revisits the story of Hurricane Katrina through the experiences of four New Orleanians—Le-Ann Williams, Fred Johnson, Alice Craft-Kerney, and Sandy Rosenthal—who remained in the city through the storm and its aftermath, and who are still living with the consequences.
All eight parts of Floodlines, spanning nearly four and a half hours, are available to listen to in full today on any podcast app (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play) and at theatlantic.com/floodlines. Woven throughout is the music of the New Orleans composer Christian Scott, which forms a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack.