A look back at Hurricane Katrina

It's been nine years since Hurricane Katrina roared ashore on the Mississippi and Louisiana coastlines. I was covering the hurricane for The Weather Channel when it made landfall. We made our way to downtown Gulfport, MS and stayed there for three days covering aftermath. As soon as I was finished helping The Weather Channel, National Geographic asked me to shoot for them for another week.

By the time I completed that assignment, I knew many of the Emergency Management officials in Gulfport and they offered the chance to ride along with a survey team which would fly from Biloxi to Waveland, MS to look at beach erosion along the coast. I gladly accepted the offer.

The video below is a part of that flight - starting out at Biloxi and ending just past downtown Gulfport. I omitted the audio since the only noise was that of the helicopter rotors. Everyone else was wearing headsets!

Watching this video nine years later bring back a lot of not so good memories of the destruction, loss of life and heart wrenching emotion I witnessed as residents returned to find their homes gone - sometimes wiped clean to the concrete foundation.

After watching the video, please remember that when an evacuation is ordered, there's a reason for it. It's better to be safe than lose your loved ones over the inconvenience the evacuation may cause.

Fortunately, we haven't had a storm like Katrina in the past few years - and here's hoping it stays that way the remainder of this hurricane season.

Midwest storm chasing with Jim Cantore

Summer is traditionally a quiet time for Forrester Media. With schools out and vacations underway, we take advantage of the down time and head off for a vacation as well.

But it's not all fun and games. We're still working and this summer I spent a few weeks in the Midwest - not on vacation but for coverage of the unfortunate severe weather that struck the Oklahoma City area. In years past, I was lucky that all my storm chasing adventures were in remote areas that affected only some fence lines and inconvenienced a cow or two.

Kansas tornado, Mike Forrester.
Filming in Kansas in 2005.

 This year, Moore, Oklahoma was hit by an EF-5 tornado, causing horrible devastation. In 1999, another tornado also hit Moore just a few miles away. After the Moore tornado this year, I was in Oklahoma chasing with Meteorologist Jim Cantore and a cameraman. This trip, instead of shooting, my role was field producer, coordinating with the news desk, arranging for live shots, taped segments and other needed elements for The Weather Channel.

NBC Live Shot
Live shot for NBC Nightly News with Meteorologist Jim Cantore

We chased for several days with Reed Timmer and his Dominator chase vehicles and while we found plenty of severe weather, tornadoes eluded us.

Supercell storm
A tornado-warned cell south of Norman, OK.


Hail the size of golf balls.


Dominator Cantore
Watching the sky with the Dominators.

Jim had schedule conflicts, so on Friday morning, May 31st, we had to fly to Atlanta. At the airport, we discussed ditching our flight back, but in the end, we all boarded and left OKC around Noon, just hours before friends and colleagues would be in harm's way.

Mammatus Clouds
Mammatus Clouds near El Reno, Oklahoma on May 29, 2013

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14 years of service to The Weather Channel

May 5, 2013 marks my 14th year of having The Weather Channel as a client. My first footage aired this date in 1999 when I captured dramatic footage in Midtown Atlanta when a severe storm passed through with lightning, high winds, hail and even capturing the moment when power went out in the area.

From then until now, I don't believe there has been more than a month pass that I haven't had the unique opportunity to film something weather related for one of the most well-known networks on television and the internet.

It's not often a client stays with you for this long, but I'm grateful for the incredible opportunites I've had in the last 14 years covering hurricanes, tornadoes, snow storms, ice storms and hundreds of other assignments. They have included visiting an oil drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico, riding in the Goodyear blimp, meeting real-life heros from the US Coast Guard and US Reserve forces and everyday heros who answer the call when severe weather strikes.

It's been a memorable 14 years...and counting. Thank you.

Watch our new one-minute Highlight Reel

We've just updated our one-minute Highlight Reel to include all new footage from a few of our productions. Actually almost two dozen productions are included in the video including clips. They include corporate, broadcast, advertising, webcasts, motion graphics and interview clips.

No matter your video needs, from full production services, to camera crews to live or on-demand webcasts, Atlanta's Forrester Media has been serving clients since 1990 and is ready to assist you on your next production. Call us toll-free at 800-201-8102 or visit our website at