49 Years Ago Today- Hurricane Camille Hit Mississippi

posted by Mary Booth - 

I was just a kid... 8 years old.  

We had spent the better part of the summer with our grandparents in North Carolina and it was time to go home. 

The adults were huddled over the radio in the kitchen.  I had no idea what was going on and was quickly hushed when I got too loud. 

They were trying to get information on Hurricane Camille.  Basically, they were trying to decide if it was safe for us to drive back home, or if we'd be driving straight into the path of a Category 5 storm.  I remember they made phone calls to a neighbor, checking on the situation back home before we left.

The storm was supposed to veer right, toward Florida.  It didn't.  It hit Pass Christian, MS with a 24 foot tide and winds of 175mph.

Camille is one of only THREE Category 5 hurricanes ever to make landfall in the United States, the other two being the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane in the Florida Keys and Hurricane Andrew, which hit the Miami, FL area in 1992.

I don't remember much... other than having to be super quiet on the drive home, as my parents listened to every radio broadcast they could find.

I remember my neighbor, who worked in Mississippi, bringing home some toy cars, metal ones, that had washed up on the beach.

I remember the boat that washed ashore, on the other side of the highway.  (It became a gift shop, which was later ruined by another hurricane, Katrina, and had to be torn down).

I also remember hearing that people died during a hurricane party.  That part apparently wasn't true.  But 172 people in Mississippi did lose their lives in that storm. 

If you don't remember... and you want to see what a Category 5 can do.... here's Camille.

Last year's Hurricane Harvey brought back memories for those who went through Camille-- 

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