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In Deep: One City’s Year of Climate Chaos


During a year already vexed by a global pandemic, residents of Lake Charles, Louisiana, suffered two hurricanes, an ice storm, and a devastating flood — a level of catastrophe that portends our nation’s disastrous climate future and reveals the insufficient safety nets available to the most vulnerable. Storms and hurricanes are part of life on the Gulf Coast, but this level of climate chaos feels new. And scientists say this is a glimpse of the future. 

In Deep is a rich portrait of a working-class city and its residents at a perilous moment in our climate existence. Lake Charles’s population has yawning income and home ownership gaps between its Black and white residents. There are big differences between these residents’ abilities to recover from the unrelenting, almost biblical torrent of weather catastrophes that have afflicted them. We’ll get to know people across the economic spectrum — hearing their hopes and fears in a place that seems to be the testing grounds for climate chaos.

In Deep is a project from American Public Media’s Water Main Initiative, which is focused on the intersection of climate, equity, public health, and environment.

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