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2007.09.25 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@mail.unomaha.edu

New Orleans Rescue Efforts Focus of Oct. 4 Presentation

Omaha - The Student Programming Organization at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) presents “Soul Savers in the Big Easy” by speaker Earl Barthé Jr. of the New Orleans Soul Patrol Restoration on Thursday, Oct. 4.

The presentation, held in the Nebraska Room of the Milo Bail Student Center, begins at 11 a.m. with poetry readings, followed by Barthé’s lecture at 11:30 a.m. Attendees will also have the opportunity to ask questions.

A New Orleans writer, storyteller, levee breach survivor and rescue hero, Barthé brings life and truth of experiencing the flooded areas of New Orleans in the aftermath of the hurricane Katrina levee breach through an emotional lecture.

Originating from a 2005 radio interview at WSUI in Iowa City, “Soul Savers in the Big Easy” is a powerful story of the rescue efforts of three members of a civilian rescue team that became known as the Soul Patrol. The three men spent 12 days living on the floodwaters of New Orleans’ Seventh Ward.

The story focuses on how Rick Mathieu, Barthé and Jadell Beard rescued more than 500 people from houses and rooftops, bringing them to safer areas for evacuation. Barthé’s lecture is a compelling account of Katrina striking the city, seeing the white caps of the levee breaches rush in and the often challenging and sometimes tragic and heartbreaking rescue attempts.

In addition, he gives a critical analysis of the media coverage following Katrina and the flood, the slow response of rescue operations, the lack of government involvement and its social impact, their eventual unsettling evacuation out of New Orleans to an unknown destination, and his struggle to survive displacement.

For more information, call (402) 554-2762.

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