One of the storytelling photographs I was lucky to capture was at the
Louisiana Superdome as thousands of evacuees waited to escape the hellish place
that had been their shelter during Hurricane Katrina. Families struggled for
hours in a mass of humanity for a bus that would take them from the
deteriorating conditions inside the Superdome. These people didnít know where
they were going, but at least they wanted to keep their families together.
Nettie Thompson, bottom left (with the baseball cap), yells for her
grandchildren to stay close to her during their ordeal.
Michael Ainsworth, The Dallas Morning
I knew this photo was important the moment I took it. I
didnít know how important until William Snyder, director of photography at
The Dallas Morning News, called asking why I hadnít given him notice
that the photo would be coming later in the day. I was just busy doing my job,
filing the images as quickly as possible.
The next day, this picture ran on the front page of hundreds of newspapers
worldwide. The response reaffirmed that the work we do is important and that it
can influence people in profound ways. I hope this one image helped the evacuees
in some way by showing their plight.
Ė Michael Ainsworth
On Sept. 1, 2005, crisis brought 81-year-old Louis Jones, left, and
62-year-old Catherine McZeal together as they tried to navigate Poydras Street
en route to the Superdome. Both said their children couldn't get through
barricades to help them evacuate. (Photo: Michael Ainsworth, The Dallas
On Sept. 3, 2005, in Chalmette, La., a Canadian fire and rescue squad
carried a woman to a medical tent after she was evacuated. Katrina turned
Chalmette and surrounding St. Bernard Parish towns into wastelands of splintered
trees, abandoned cars, wrecked homes and toxic sludge. (Photo: Michael
Ainsworth, The Dallas Morning News)