46th Anniversary of Hurricane Camille

Today’s rainy and stormy weather mirrors the mood of this historic day: the 46th anniversary of Hurricane Camille.
The Category 5 storm hit the Coast back in 1969 and took the lives of over 100 South Mississippi residents. News 25’s Laurene Callander spoke with a survivor and has a report on the devastating storm.
Exactly 46 years ago today, Hurricane Camille crashed onto the Gulf Coast. Gulf Coast resident Jessie Gaines says it was a nightmare. “That was a bad storm; it messed up a lot of people. It killed some of my friends over here, too. It took some of them, the storm did. I made it through cause I wasn’t over in this area and I’m so sorry for all. I pray for all of them that got caught in the storm.”
The killer storm packed winds estimated at 200 miles per hour. One hundred and forty three people on the Gulf Coast were killed. Camille went on to take a total of 256 lives in our country. “It was an experience all right,” said Gaines, “that wind was blowing and it was raining. It was bad, it was rough out there. I lived out there in Vancleave then but it was rough out there. It was bad.”
Today, the Emergency Management Agency wanted to remember the unknown victims of the devastation and placed flowers right above their graves. EMA Director Rupert Lacy said, “The news was coming out, we had a Category 5 storm approaching the Coast, Pass Christian, which was ground zero. The message just didn’t get out and for whatever reason these three lost souls chose to ride the storm out and they were perished.”
For the past 42 years, EMA has been placing flowers at Evergreen Cemetery next to the three unknown victims, named Hope, Charity and Faith, on the anniversary of the storm.
Even though the Coast was hit more recently with Katrina, EMA Director Rupert Lacy tells News 25 the Category 5 storm back in 1969 had a huge impact on South Mississippi. “We’re starting to lose those, our seniors that really were the movers and shakers along the Coast during Camille and the rebirth afterwards and it is part of our history we do need to remember.”
The Hurricane Camille Memorial is free and open to the public. It is located on Bellman Street off Highway 90 in Biloxi.

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