CNN Associate Producer Sara Lane (2001) helps bring stories home—from covering Katrina to the war in Iraq.
The following is an excerpt from the Winter Issue of Perspectives, the magazine of NC State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. For the full article, visit the Web site.
The morning after Hurricane Katrina laid waste to the Gulf Coast, CNN associate producer Sara Lane set out with reporter Anderson Cooper to find and help tell the world the stories of those whose lives had changed overnight.
Her retelling of that day sheds as much light on the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences graduate and her passion for her job—and for people—as it does about her experiences in the 17 days she spent covering the storm’s aftermath in Waveland, Bay St. Louis and New Orleans.
In Waveland, a small coastal town in Mississippi, wind and water wiped out nearly everything in the 10 blocks that spanned the railroad tracks and the Gulf. The streets were largely deserted after the storm.
”But we found a family—a dad, a daughter and a son—carrying water bottles and MREs,” she recalls. ”And so we stopped and talked to them.”
The family lived just beyond the railroad tracks, in a modest two-story house with a small barn in the backyard. Before the storm, the barn was home to 15 miniature horses, but the floodwaters there rose to the second floor of the house and engulfed the barn. Three horses died and two were missing, and the family had no way to feed the 10 survivors.
Lane and the rest of the CNN crew helped send out to the nation the family’s appeal for help finding the horses a new home where they would be safe, cared for and well fed.
Lane, who grew up on a North Carolina dairy farm, learned days later that the horses had, indeed, been rescued.
”I could really feel for this family, because I know I’d be worried about my cows,” she says. And it was a wonderful feeling, she says, to know that she’d play a part in helping the family and their horses.