Friday, September 09, 2005

Hurricane Betsy--40 years ago today

Yesterday was the anniversary of the great hurricane of 1905; today is the 40th anniversary of Hurricane Betsy's attack on Louisiana. Native New Orleanians, and those who have lived in New Orleans a long time, have always regarded Betsy not only as the city's baseline for storm destruction, but as a reminder that it's not over until it's over. The hurricane was a few miles from Daytona Beach, headed for the North Carolina coast, when it suddenly made a dramatic westward turn, battered the Bahamas, strengthened into a Category 4 storm, and then hit Louisiana. 160 mph winds were recorded on the Louisiana coast, and Betsy battered New Orleans with 125 mph. winds. Water surged over the levees, and flood waters rose to the level of residential roofs, trapping residents who had taken refuge in their attics.

76 people died during Betsy. Four years later, one of the great killer hurricanes of all time, Camille, destroyed much of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, killing 256 people. New Orleans underwent damage because of Camille, but did not take a direct hit.

3 Comments:

Thanks for the history. And in general for the human account of simply living there on the Gulf Coast though these events.

By Blogger janinsanfran, at 12:11 PM  

My pleasure. Come by any time.

By Blogger Diane, at 5:49 PM  

Cool Blog, I never really thought about it that way.

I have a Hurricane Katrina blog. It pretty much covers hurricane related stuff.

Thank you - and keep up the thoughts!

By Blogger kalisekj, at 9:17 PM  

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