A great deal of deserved attention focused on the devastation brought on by Hurricane Katrina around the Gulf Coast in 2005. It wasn’t the only major storm of the year and New Orleans is one of many parts of the country destroyed by hurricane winds and flooding. The Florida Keys were hit by Hurricane Wilma during October 2005 completely submerging some of the islands in ocean water for several hours. Longtime reader of this site, Paul Hansen, was on hand during Hurricane Wilma, standing by as a paramedic on the islands and documenting what he expected to be a much less severe storm. Paul was in for a surprise as Hurricane Wilma ultimately hit Category 5 levels trapping his family in their home. Throughout the gathering storm and during the worst of the weather, Paul recorded video footage of winds, rain, ocean swells and the general wreckage of everything around his home. The resulting footage was later used for the local community college to receive disaster relief funding. More recently, Paul released a DVD of his footage combined with images shot by two other Florida Keys videographers. The DVD both documents the events as they transpire and provides something of a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to survive a hurricane in a way Anderson Cooper simply can’t begin to imagine.
UPDATE 2012: When I originally wrote about this documentary back in 2006, it was available directly from Paul Hansen. Since that time, it appears to have gone out of print. You can still get used copies from Amazon by way of the link below. Ebay may also have copies as well. Order Hurricane Wilma The Untold Story