She was no lady…

A 24 to 28 feet storm surge.

A central pressure of 909 millibars at landfall, second only to the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935.

The only Atlantic hurricane to make landfall with sustained winds at 190 mph or above.

One of only three hurricanes to make landfall in the U.S. as a category 5.

An eyewall diameter of less than 8 miles.

Wave heights of over 70 feet in the open Gulf of Mexico.

The Mississippi River flowed backwards for 125 miles.

143 people were killed along the coasts of Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana…

…but 153 people were killed in the area around Nelson County, Virginia from catastrophic flooding as a result of over 27 inches of rain in less than 8 hours.

Hurricane Camille made landfall late the night of August 17, 1969 between Bay St. Louis and Pass Christian, Mississippi. Never forget.

Here is a great documentary on Hurricane Camille from 1971. Wonderful footage. (I will only say a few things: (1) A storm surge is NOT a tidal wave, as is suggested by stock footage in the video. (2) The “hurricane party” at the Richelieu Manor apartments is a myth.)

One of my favorite quotes: “I got the clothes I got on and $22 in my pocket. And if I’d a had the choice I’d a picked some better clothes.

Further reading:

Roar of the Heavens: Surviving Hurricane Camille
Hurricane Camille: Monster Storm of the Gulf Coast
Category 5: The Story of Camille, Lessons Unlearned from America’s Most Violent Hurricane

2 thoughts on “She was no lady…

  1. I was in it. Lost everything, but by the mercy of God, my new husband & I had enough sense to go to the base. We'd lived in Biloxi one week, had no car, no phone, and knew nobody. Had the radio on (no TV). I was too dumb to be scared, but by golly I was scared in Katrina because of Camille! Thank God for the Air Force, at least we were able to go back to the base for a couple of days.
    The great thing that happened was that other AF people, (mostly from Ocean Springs which was spared) spontaneously showed up and took people home with them. We spent a month at the home of people we'd never met, until someone rented us their guest house and later trailers were installed on base.
    I'm not fond of the beach.


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