America has one of the largest coastlines in the world. With the country surrounded by three major water bodies, it does not come as a shock that is hit by massive hurricanes on a frequent basis. Over the years, the USA has been hit by some of the largest and dangerously destructible hurricanes. One of those was Hurricane Camille in Nelson County.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season 1969 was considered as the most deadly one since 1933. The season had a total of 24 tropical cyclones, out of which Camille was the most dangerous one. It turned into a category 5 hurricane and became the second-ever category 5 hurricane to hit the U.S.
Origin of Hurricane Camille
Hurricane Camille was formed on 14th August 1969 and right after it was formed, the government issued a storm warning and advised people to take precautions. After the hurricane hit Cuba, it became imperative to move the residents and livestock from the coastal areas to a safe location. The hurricane weakened on the 17th of August however on the 19th it charged back into a category 5 hurricane and that is when it hit the gulf coast of the United States.
Hurricane Camille Path
Hurricane Camille started a tropical wave off the coast of the continent of Africa. From the African coast, the winds traveled towards the Caribbean. After a few days, the winds reached the southern coast of Jamaica. It then began moving towards the North West and it was here that the tropical wave turned into a powerful storm. The storm then hit the western part of Cuba and then moved towards the USA.
How Strong Was Hurricane Camille
Hurricane Camille in Nelson County was the most deadly hurricanes of the 1969 Atlantic hurricane season. Its strength can be judged by the fact that it is still the second most powerful cyclone to make landfall on American soil. The highest winds recorded by hurricane Camille in Nelson County were a whopping 175mph. Other than the United States, the Hurricane also affected Cuba and Mexico.
Hurricane Camille in Nelson County Damages
When such strong hurricanes make landfall, they are bound to cause some serious damage. Being a category 5 hurricane, it was expected that Hurricane Camille would be one of the deadliest hurricanes that the country had ever seen. Even though steps were taken to evacuate most of the areas along the coastline, the storm still resulted in 259 deaths. Some of the deaths were caused by flooding which happened because of the hurricane.
In terms of finance, the total damage caused by Hurricane Camille was estimated to be around 1.42 Billion USD which is around 10.06 Billion USD in today’s value. At that time, it was considered the costliest hurricane in the history of the United States. Nelson County, Virginia, was one of the most affected areas. Out of 259 deaths, 124 were from Nelson County. In addition to human lives, it also damaged the infrastructure in the county. Camille also destroyed around 900 buildings. Camille was weakened days before it made landfall. Had it not gained its category 5 status once again, it wouldn’t have caused this much damage.
After the hurricane left its path of destruction, the government authorities and the residents of Nelson County all contributed millions of dollars and worked towards the redevelopment of their homeland.