From Researching Nola to Publishing Nola

In November 2005, the Mathieu Brothers returned home to NOLA. M. D. Woods followed and documented the re-population of the 7th Ward and the Treme (tra-may). The following year The Contraflow Project...


About TP

Treme Press was formed in 2010 to serve as the publishing entity for stories coming from the Contraflow Research Project, known to day as The Contraflow Project. Our first literary project is near fruition. It’s a three-part literary documentation of the seven weeks surrounding Hurricane Katrina entitled, CONTRAFLOW: A Katrina Heptalogy.

I-10 Contraflow Traffic in New Orleans on 8.28.05In early August 2005, two weeks before Katrina struck South Florida and the Gulf Coast, I visited a link to a map entitled the “Contraflow Plan” on the Louis Armstrong Int’l Airport’s website. Why? I have always been fascinated by aviation, geography and Louisiana; the homeland of my father, grandfather and great grandfather. The map appeared to show a plan for evacuating Greater New Orleans in the event of an approaching hurricane. We know what happened at the end of August 2005…or do we?

Not long after the 1st anniversary of Katrina, my part-time research project turned long-term. Needing a name, I thought back to that map and a definition of the word Contraflow: “flow in the opposite direction of normal”. I also thought back to all of the experiences shared with me by survivors returning home from across the nation during the 2005-2006 Repopulation Era of New Orleans while I was embedded in the 7th Ward at Camp Mama D. Danny Glover visiting Camp Mama D on Christmas Day 2005 in the N.O. 7th WardIt did not take long for me to realize that there was nothing ‘normal’ about the ‘flow’ out of Greater New Orleans during immediately after the Storm. Hence, The Contraflow Project (TCP) picked up were I left off.

TCP spent the past six-plus years document-ing Katrina’s global effect and Post-Katrina New Orleans. TCP plans to transform its manuscript development project into five literary projects. The first being the CONTRAFLOW: “A Katrina Trilogy”. The planned three forthcoming ebooks (a literary mini-series) will shed more light on what really happened during the first week of Katrina. One cannot begin to comprehend this mega-disaster until one comprehends the many still untold heroic stories of the local, intrastate, interstate, federal and international responders, as well as the neighborhood survivors turned responders. Inspiration for the second literary project, WATER LINES, comes from the resiliency and courage of the Katrina survivors as they returned home to New Orleans, and the dedication of the volunteers who were already there gutting the survivors homes, churches, schools and businesses. SINCE RECONSTRUCTION, the planned final literary project, is dedicated to the Katrina researchers.

Contraflow Inc. is a Nevada-based 501c3 corporation and fiscal sponsor of the Contraflow Research Project, which operates under the name of The Contraflow Project (TCP); a non-profit research organization whose mission includes studying Katrina responders, survivors, volunteers, and documenting the New Orleans recovery, culture and history. Fat Tuesday in the Treme with the Mardi Gras IndiansTCP is based in the the historic Treme Neigh-borhood of New Orleans in the shadows of the nation’s oldest African American Catholic church, St. Augustine.

TCP’s vision is to provide the public, especially those involved in or concerned about public safety and emergency management around the country, a clearer ‘rear window’ view of what really happened in New Orleans during the first week of Katrina. Much information has already been disseminated. However, we have yet to see all of it placed in proper context. In addition, we want to shed more light on the role of the neighborhood responders; who worked hand in hand with the government agencies and military to pull off the largest post-disaster evacuation in American history.

Many Katrina responders from across the nation were unduly tainted by the broad “Unacceptable” stroke that was painted a week into the biggest natural disaster in American history. We feel that the public, even after the five-year anniversary, DMAT CA-4 at Louis B. Armstrong Intl Airport on 9.7.05still does not know what really happened.

In conclusion, we have spent more than six years interviewing responders as well as survivors, and analyzing mounds and gigabytes of research data. We look forward to our research findings being released in the form of a non-fiction book entitled CONTRAFLOW; as well as giving our take on what life was like in the New Orleans 7th Ward during the surreal Repopulation Era in the form of a documentary entitled WATER LINES.

Michael D. Woods, TCP Lead Researcher

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