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Hurricane Camille:

Hurricane Camille - Monster Storm of the Gulf Coast -

Hurricane Camille, 1969:

Hurricane Camille, 1969 ▶ One of only three Category 5 hurricanes to hit the U.S. mainland in modern history ☞ the other two - Labor Day Hurricane(1935), Andrew(1995) ▶ Toll of dead and missing - national 347 (Mississippi 172) - property damage : $ 11 billion in today’s $ ▶ The atomic-bomb effect of Camille’s 200-mile-per-hour wind gusts and 25-foot storm surge destroyed 100 years of growth and progress along the Mississippi Coast in just three hours.

About the Book:

About the Book ▶ Author - a longtime Mississippi news reporter and editor The story of Camille came to life as he pored through the volumes of transcribed tapes of survivor interviews. There are so many dramatic stories of various common people facing the monster

Story 1 - Richelieu Apartment:

Story 1 - Richelieu Apartment Residents had been assured by the apartment managers that the building was safe . - The apartment’s bottom floor had been flooded by Hurricane Besty four years earlier. But, the complex had suffered no structural damage. - 26 residents decided to stay, despite warnings Mary Ann Gerlach, a cocktail waitress and her husband - Hurricane meant time off from work and they had been through storms before - They planned to get some rest, have a few drink, and to welcome Camille “ We thought this is going to be like a little vacation ”

Story 1 - Richelieu Apartment – cont’:

Story 1 - Richelieu Apartment – cont’ Richelieu totally collapsed - eight residents died Mary Ann Gerlach lost her husband - Gone was the diamond watch her husband had given her for their second wedding anniversary - Gone was her Husband, Fritz

Story 2 – Williams family and Trinity Episcopal Church:

Story 2 – Williams family and Trinity Episcopal Church Paul Williams wanted to find a quiet place, somewhere he and 16 members of his family could ride out the approaching storm in “peace and safety.” - He did not want to stay in crowded public shelter because “he could not rest”. Auditorium of Trinity Episcopal Church is ideal place for them - The church had weathered 18 hurricanes since its construction in 1849

Story 2 – Trinity Episcopal Church – cont’:

Story 2 – Trinity Episcopal Church – cont’ The church, auditorium, and rectory were gone and so were most of Williams family - Paul Williams lost thirteen of his sixteen family members

Regrets that came too late:

Regrets that came too late Although the Mississippi Gulf Coast had been the repeated target of hurricanes, - efforts to mitigate against such disasters had been inconsistent and unproductive ▶ Evacuation routes had been poorly planned with narrow road and low-lying bridges ▶ Only 50 percent of Harrison County inhabitants evacuated ahead of Camille ▶ Neither Harrison County nor one of its city, Pass Christian, had adopted construction standards prior to Camille

Regrets that came too late, cont’:

Regrets that came too late, cont’ ▶ Growth along the Coast had been uncontrolled and disorganized for 100 years ▶ Despite enactment of the National Flood Insurance Program(1968), implementation of its provision moved in a snail’s pace ▶ Even a house designed by a local architect to be “hurricane proof” was destroyed by Camille

Regrets that came too late, cont’:

Regrets that came too late, cont’ While thousands of Harrison County residents had declined to evacuate in advance of Camille, - the county’s coastal area was “one-hundred percent evacuated during Hurricane Frederic in 1979 - Only a decade removed from Camille, Gulf Coast residents were keenly aware of what a hurricane could do and respected that terrible power

Are We ready for the next hurricane ?:

Are We ready for the next hurricane ? Hurricane Camille taught us many lessons - But, knowledge and experience from hurricane history have not necessarily translated into changes in behavioral patterns or produced practical actions ▶ The question is : Are We ready for the next great Hurricane?

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