Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB) will premiere a new documentary entitled "Cajundome City" on Wednesday, August 23, 2023, at 7:00 pm.

The independent documentary will air on LPB, but viewers can also stream the program live at www.lpb.org/livetv or on mobile devices with the LBP app.

The documentary tells the story of how more than 18,000 evacuees escaped New Orleans in the days following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and called the Cajundome their temporary home.

Hurricane Katrina hit on August 29, 2005, flooding tens of thousands of residents out of their homes, mainly after levees were breached.

Exhausted and desperate, more than 18,000 storm victims found themselves about two hours west of New Orleans in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Sadly, little state or federal help was available to these evacuees in the immediate aftermath of Katrina. "Cajundome City" tells the incredible and often touching story of a community that came together and opened its arms to care for those in need.

The arena basically became the nation's first mega-shelter.

Cajundome City
Cajundome City

Each day while housing evacuees, the Cajundome needed 300-500 volunteers to operate, and they had no trouble getting that help from the people of Acadiana.

The Cajundome residents also needed medical care, which the Red Cross does not provide. The Lafayette medical community came through and organized a volunteer medical clinic in the shelter.

Over the 58 days that the shelter was open, doctors in the clinic performed 5,000 medical visits.

First Lady Laura Bush Visits With Displaced Hurricane Victims
Krisanne Johnson-Pool, Getty Images

Chris Allain, who co-directed "Cajundome City" with his son Christopher, said this was a tale they thought was important to tell.

“Our goal from the beginning of this project was to shine a light on the incredible effort of the Cajundome staff and volunteers. We believe the Cajundome City story will be of great interest to those who’ve built their lives in Louisiana. Our goal is to have this story viewed as widely as possible in Louisiana and beyond, and we’re delighted that public media has provided us that opportunity,” Allain said.

If you miss the premiere of "Cajundome City," there will be an encore presentation on Wednesday, August 23 at 10:00 pm and again on Saturday, August 26 at 8:30 pm.

25 costliest hurricanes of all time

Although the full extent of damage caused by Hurricane Ian in the Southwest is still being realized, Ian is already being called one of the costliest storms to ever hit the U.S. Stacker took a look at NOAA data to extrapolate the costliest U.S. hurricanes of all time.  




More From 97.3 The Dawg