In Katrina's Wake
The U.S. Coast Guard and the Gulf Coast Hurricanes of 2005

Donald L. Canney

Foreword by James C. Bradford and Gene Allen Smith, Series Editors
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"An in-depth, first-hand, on-the-scene account of the valiant efforts of the men and women of America’s Coast Guard during one of the nation’s worst natural disasters, and the resolve, grit, and determination which led to the saving of tens of thousands of lives."--Clayton Evans, author of Rescue at Sea

"Tremendous. Canney describes how a service smaller than the New York City police department was able to rise to the occasion with near perfect execution of its missions."--Vincent W. Patton III, Master Chief Petty Officer of the U.S. Coast Guard (retired)

Of all the Homeland Security agencies operating in New Orleans before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina’s landfall, no agency performed its duties with the same level of diligence and heroism as did the U.S. Coast Guard. Tirelessly, Coasties in helicopters and small boats pulled survivors from rooftops, floating debris, and high ground and ferried them to safety as the rest of us watched live on CNN.

Only a few days later, disaster struck again in the form of Hurricane Rita, which left even more people in desperate need of rescue and assistance. In the aftermath of the storms, some 5,000 Coast Guard personnel rescued 33,735 individuals--six times more than the annual average number rescued by the service nationwide. Then, unobserved by the media, the Coast Guard successfully restored the vital navigation aids in the region, preventing further death and destruction.

In Katrina’s Wake presents a riveting account of the astounding operations undertaken by the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard in the aftermath of one of the worst natural disasters ever to strike America. While other government agencies struggled to mobilize and failed to provide real solutions, one small, decentralized agency stepped forward and performed above and beyond the call of duty.

Donald L. Canney, recently retired from the U.S. Coast Guard historian’s office, is the author of six books, including Africa Squadron: the U.S. Navy and the Slave Trade, 1842-1861, and U. S. Coast Guard and Revenue Cutters, 1790-1935.

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"Offers a much clearer image of the impact the hurricane had on the area. It's a fascinating read and one that is certain to evoke tears from time to time."

"Appeals to those interested in military and maritime history and those interested in the events surrounding the Hurricane Katrina tragedy."
--Book News, Inc. (

"Sheds light on the activities of an often-overlooked and important emergency management agency."

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