During the last week of March in 2001, Sesame Street aired a five-part saga in which its namesake is struck by a hurricane. The preparation and aftermath covers how the storm affects the community with a particular focus on Big Bird and the destruction of his nest.
The episodes were rerun on October 4-8, 2004 (after Hurricane Charley) and September 12-16, 2005 (after Hurricane Katrina). Elements from four of them were also incorporated into the season 43 finale and uploaded to the show's official YouTube channel on October 26, 2012 (a few days before Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast). The reruns began with an introduction by Gordon, and were structured slightly differently.
The full saga was released on home video as Friends to the Rescue and began streaming on HBO Max in 2020. Clips from the arc have also appeared in 40 Years of Sunny Days, and a significant portion of the production on these episodes — including the writing process and filming — were covered in a behind-the-scenes look during A&E Biography: Sesame Street.
A hurricane had previously hit the street ten years earlier in Episode 2821 with diminished effects. The storm was mostly covered in one episode, while the follow-up dealt with the aftermath in a more whimsical fashion by crediting the hurricane with the arrival of fairy tale characters.
A nest destroyed
The final twig