The Gulf Coast's resilient spirit is the star of Robin Roberts' Katrina-anniversary ABC special

August 21, 2015
By: Dave Walker,

ABC's "Katrina: 10 Years After the Storm WithRobin Roberts," which airs Sunday (Aug. 23) at 9:01 p.m. on WGNO-TV, played well on Wednesday (Aug. 19) to a highly invested New Orleans screening audience, many of whom appear in the special. The invited viewers gave it a standing ovation.

"I mean this respectfully: It was difficult to watch with this audience, because they lived that," Roberts said, pointing to the screen during an interview after the audience had departed the theater. "Other people, when we were showing it in New York or to people who weren't from the area, they were just seeing the pictures. But to hear the gasps, to feel the emotion, knowing that I was bringing them back to something they would rather forget. I'm like that, too. It was hard for me to see myself 10 years ago, crying like a baby on national television because I'd just found my mom in Biloxi.

"But it was important. It was very important to show it here first. I didn't want them to see it for the first time on Sunday with everybody else. It's their story, and I was very appreciative of their reaction."