October 7, 2005

Back from the Dead

Stories about people and places that have come back to life after everything seemed lost.



In the middle of the news coverage of Hurricane Rita, newscasts broke into their coverage to show JetBlue flight 292, with its landing gear stuck in the wrong direction. For hours, the plane circled over the exurbs of Los Angeles to burn off fuel before it attempted an emergency landing. Host Ira Glass talks to passenger Alexandra Jacobs about what it's like to be on a plane that might not make it back safely. (14 minutes)

Act Two

'P' Is For Porta-potty

This American Life producer Sarah Koenig visits Pearlington, Mississippi, a town in danger of not starting up again after Hurricane Katrina. It's in Hancock County, the Ground Zero of the hurricane's devastation. Sarah found people pitching in together, without much government help or leadership. Nobody is clear about who's in charge. (24 minutes)
Act Three

Friday Night Floodlights

About fifteen miles from Pearlington, Bay St. Louis and Waveland are other communities struggling to bring themselves back to life. Waveland was pretty much completely wiped out. Bay St. Louis isn't much better. And though you still can't drink the tap water, and some people still don't have electricity, and school won't reopen until November, people wanted something normal in their lives again, and so high school football's back again. Even though there's no school. The Tigers face enormous odds. Over half their team never came back after Hurricane Katrina. Many of the rest are homeless, living on couches, living away from their parents. Their equipment was ruined. Their uniforms taken by refugees from the flood. National Guardsmen are camping on their practice field. This American Life producer Lisa Pollak attended their first game. (18 minutes)