In the heat of late summer, two New Orleans families—one black and one white—confront a storm that will change the course of their lives.
SJ Williams, a carpenter and widower, lives and works in the Lower Ninth Ward community where he and his sister Lucy were born. Across town, Craig Donaldson, a Midwestern transplant and the editor of New Orleans's alternative paper, faces deepening cracks in his family as his wife continues to question the wisdom of raising a family in the city. When the news of the gathering hurricane—called Katrina—comes, the two families make their own very different plans to weather the storm. But the long night of wind and rain is only the beginning—and when the levees give way and the flood waters come, the fate of each family changes forever.