Campus News

Hurricane Katrina Through Kentucky Eyes


LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 19, 2010) – Just hearing the word, “Katrina," takes many of us to the devastating hurricane that struck much of the Southeast in 2005. UK's Student Activities Board (SAB), in honor of the fifth anniversary of this storm, wants to remind our campus of the impact the disaster made on our own community and our fellow Americans. Images of the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina taken by Valerie Clay, a staff member in the Martin Luther King Cultural Center, will be on display. The exhibit, “Katrina Submerged,” will be open from March 22 through March 26 in the Student Center Rasdall Gallery.

Hurricane Katrina, the deadliest hurricane since 1928, struck the Gulf Coast of the United States in late August of 2005. It left behind a path of destruction leaving coastal towns under water and did over $100 billion dollars worth of damage. The most devastated city was New Orleans which, after the levees failed, became 80 percent flooded and displaced thousands of residents. Five years later, the city is still trying to rebuild.

The exhibit documents Clay’s three trips to New Orleans. Her first trip was as a student in 2006. From that experience, she was inspired to make a difference by leading two student trips to the region as an effort to help rebuild the city.

From these trips I have taken personal photos that in my eyes tell the story of destruction, hope and perseverance of those who call the Gulf Coast home,” Clay said of her work. “I felt like these images were something worth sharing.”

“We don’t hear about Katrina in the news anymore and I think a lot of people assume everything has gone back to normal. This exhibit is a reminder that people in New Orleans are still rebuilding and trying to recover,” said Aubrey Collier, SAB's director of cultural arts.

The Rasdall Gallery is open from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For more information on this or any other SAB event, visit