Last year around this time, the Louisiana Superdome was the site of extreme operational challenges. Doug Thornton bunkered down during Hurricane Katrina, and stuck it out like a captain going down with his ship. On the eve of the facility’s grand reopening, heralded by a concert featuring rock greats U2 and Green Day, CBS Sportsline has graciously offered an in depth interview with Thornton.
There are many heroes from when the storm hit. The survivors, the rescue workers, the military men and women and many others you already know.
There is one hero who is not a household name, a regular guy, a man who kept the dome running under extraordinary circumstances, doing so when others, even some police officers, scurried away in fear, a man who on Aug. 27, 2005, a Saturday, glared at a dire weather report.
Thornton: ‘You had no idea it was going to be such hell.’ (Getty Images)
“I had been through hurricanes before so there was no great fear or anything, just caution,” Doug Thornton says. “You had no idea it was going to be such hell.”
It was seven days of hell, to be exact.
He saw almost everything. The violence, the suffering, the desperation but he also witnessed — and was a key part of — moments of great ingenuity and the saving of human lives.
Anyone who wants to know what it was like behind the scenes should read this piece in its entirety.