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Hurricane Camille: Category Five Hurricane

Updated on September 10, 2017
Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

Marcy writes about American life, holidays, politics and other topics. She has written hundreds of articles for online & print publications.

The storm changed course and increased to a Category Five

Camille had changed its predicted course; rather than hitting Florida, it was now headed directly for Gulfport and Biloxi
Camille had changed its predicted course; rather than hitting Florida, it was now headed directly for Gulfport and Biloxi | Source
Massive in size and stronger than ever, Camille will miss Texas and barely touch Louisiana as she heads for the Gulf Coast along Mississippi.
Massive in size and stronger than ever, Camille will miss Texas and barely touch Louisiana as she heads for the Gulf Coast along Mississippi.

I thought I would die that night

We lost everything in 1969's Hurricane Camille along the Gulf Coast, but we felt lucky, because we lived through a storm the likes of which few people will ever see.

This is a first-person account of surviving the eye of the hurricane. which ripped off the roofing off above our heads and blew the glass out of windows.

We dug our way out of the mud where we lived, hauled our sodden furniture out to the side of the house, and kept on with our lives.

More than 250 people, however, were not as fortunate. The storm killed many (many) dozens in Mississippi, traveled north through the state and then to the east, where it poured nearly 30 inches of rain in mountainous areas (killing even more people) before heading out to the Atlantic.

For anyone who has ever been through a major hurricane, it is something you remember forever, very vividly. When other storms hit, such as Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma in 2017, the memories not only surface, but the fear returns. Here is my account of the night I thought I would die.

Back Bay in Biloxi, Mississippi

This was very similar to the view of Back Bay from our duplex in military housing.
This was very similar to the view of Back Bay from our duplex in military housing. | Source
Prior to August 17th, 1969, Back Bay was a quiet body of water with piers, boat slips and fishing spots.
Prior to August 17th, 1969, Back Bay was a quiet body of water with piers, boat slips and fishing spots.
Tullis Toledano Manor in Biloxi, built in 1856. One of the many antebellum mansions in Biloxi.
Tullis Toledano Manor in Biloxi, built in 1856. One of the many antebellum mansions in Biloxi.

Camille hit in 1969 and was one of the strongest storms ever

Growing up in Ohio, my family had heard about hurricanes, but they were mystery storms to us, happening many miles away, near oceans or the Gulf of Mexico. There was no reason to think we would ever be exposed to such a violent act of God. However, kids get older, and they leave home.

In August of 1969, as a very young adult, I found myself living on a bluff overlooking the water of Back Bay, in Biloxi Mississippi. I was an Air Force wife, and we had just arrived there so my husband could attend technical school, fresh from our last assignment, in Spain. We had a one-year-old baby and a house full of the 'attic and basement' furniture young couples often have to furnish their first few places.

When I first saw the housing we got, I felt like we were living in a resort setting. Only a tiny parking area and a small road lay between our duplex and a beautiful, shimmering body of water. It was really quite scenic; if we looked out the windows, we could see the blue waters of the bay through the tall trees, all the more picturesque when a gentle wind would send waves rippling across the relatively calm surface of the water. We lived in one side of an old World War II housing duplex; our address was Number 3, Harrison Court.

We arrived at our new assignment in June, that summer, our furniture catching up with us in July. We didn't have much in the way of household goods, but I was glad to have my beloved piano with me again, since we hadn't been able to take it to Spain. By mid-August, we were more or less settled in.

Biloxi was little more than a sleepy military town back then. There were no casinos, and the main industry in town was Keesler Air Force Base - a major USAF training facility. It was smaller than Gulfport, which was a few miles to the west, but it had its share of history, including beautiful antebellum mansions along Highway 69, overlooking the beach, some with charming Widows' Walks on the roof, purportedly used by wives of seafarers as they anxiously awaited for their beloved husbands to return safely from their journeys across the Gulf.

I liked being in Mississippi; my dear grandparents lived about a hundred miles north of us. We varied our weekends, spending some in town, strolling along the sand on the 'beach side' of the peninsula, which faced the Gulf of Mexico, and using others to travel north to see my grandparents.

On Saturday morning, August 16th, as we tucked a change of clothes into a suitcase and packed up the portable crib we used for weekend trips, we began hearing that the hurricane brewing in the gulf for the past few days was getting stronger and would probably make landfall sometime that weekend. Hurricane Camille, as she was called, was expected to do quite a bit of damage along the Gulf Coast of Florida, but nothing more serious than wind was expected in Biloxi.

I had clipped some letters to the mailbox hanging outside of our door, and being unfamiliar with how long it took for storms to make their way to shore, the last thing I did before we left was to unclip the letters and put them on the table next to the couch. Then we closed up the house and took off for my grandparents, little realizing that nothing in Biloxi would ever been the same.

Short documentary of Hurricane Camille

The storm hit on August 17th , 1969

The rest of that Saturday was uneventful - a peaceful day spent visiting with family and eating my grandmother's amazing greens and cornbread. We retired for the night, full of good food and the sense of peace and safety you get when your stomach is full and you're surrounded by love. But when we awoke the next day, things had changed.

Sunday, August 17th, 1969: Although the weather that morning looked innocent and beautiful, we soon heard urgent news reports that Mississippi was in danger. An early morning reconnaissance flight by the Hurricane Hunters (the crew that bravely flies into storms to measure barometric pressures and wind speed) revealed Camille had the lowest pressure ever recorded up to that time by such a flight, and it was now a monster storm, with its 160mph winds pushing it into deadly Category Five status. Not only that, while we had slept, meteorologists had frantically calculated and recalculated the path of the storm. Camille was not headed to Florida after all; it was steadily churning a deadly path toward the Gulfport/Biloxi area.

As the day progressed, the news became more and more frightening. Everyone was encouraged to store water, in case power went out and supplies were unavailable. This was long before designer water in plastic bottles. My grandparents (and my husband, for that matter) scoffed at me for filling up every container I could find. There was no bathtub in the house, but I filled every possible pot, pan and pitcher to the brim. Then we monitored the news and waited.

By late afternoon and evening, Camille had winds of 190mph (it was later discovered that the devices used to measure wind velocity broke at 200mph, so Hurricane Camille's force at landfall is not known).

Clearly, Camille was slated to be a record-breaking storm. We watched the news as long as we could get a signal. As coastal areas reported landfall, we were hit by violent winds and rain. We later learned the Biloxi television station continued broadcasting as long as it could, its reporters and crew dodging the rising water and battering winds the the entire time. Soon, we lost power and we were in the dark, literally, and in terms of information.

That was the start of one of the most amazing nights I have ever experienced.

Gulf Coast area where Camille made landfall

Pass Christian Mississippi:
Pass Christian, MS, USA

get directions

Approximate spot where Hurricane Camille made landfall

Hurricane Camille had 190 mph winds at landfall

Her real wind speed is unknown, because the strength of the storm broke the gauges used to measure them. Estimates at the time put Camille's winds at 205 miles per houwere at least By the time Camille made landfall, her winds were 190 miles per hour.
Her real wind speed is unknown, because the strength of the storm broke the gauges used to measure them. Estimates at the time put Camille's winds at 205 miles per houwere at least By the time Camille made landfall, her winds were 190 miles per hour.

Hurricanes winds last for hours

Once the wind and rain hit us, it only grew worse as the hours continued. There is no way to describe every minute of the storm (we were battered from at least 8 p.m. until around 4 a.m.). Just as we would think the sound of the wind screaming could get no louder, an even bigger blast would slam into the small frame house where we huddled. I'd heard for years that hurricanes sound like trains, and I suddenly understood why.

It sounded like being in the middle of a freight yard, with huge trains tearing past you and through you on all sides. The house vibrated with the wind, shaking and slamming with each blast, and the windows began exploding on us. Over the roar, we could hear metal screeching and clanging outside of the house. We later learned it was the strips of tin roofing being ripped off the house from the force of the wind and tossed around the yard.

I put pillows around my grandparents to try to protect them from flying debris, and we took a mattress off one of the beds and my husband and I got under it with the baby, who kept trying to crawl out from under it, since the house was hot and muggy (it was August, remember?). Even as we made those provisions, I felt everything was in vain. I was certain we were dying that night; I was convinced the house would explode any minute and we would be shot into the darkness and into the violent storm.

Then, after many hours, the storm stopped. But it stopped suddenly, as if a light switch had been flipped off, not through a slow decrease in the wind. My husband thought it was over, but I wasn't as certain. He went outside to listen to the car radio, and I stood by the door, watching his face lit by the interior light in the car. Then, as quickly as the storm had stopped, it slammed into us again, with a fierceness worse than before. The car began violently rocking back and forth, and he jumped out quickly and ran into the house. We didn't realize it, but we had just been through the eye of the storm.

Camille continued to scream her way through Mississippi for several more hours, the winds finally waning a bit as she moved north and eventually turned east to head out to the Atlantic Ocean.

It was nearly 5 a.m. when we crawled out from under the mattress, too tired to do anything by flop down on its surface and fall into exhausted sleep. Somehow, the house hadn't blown up, we were all alive (at least those of us in that house were - we didn't know about the rest of the family, who lived in the surrounding community).

We had been in one of the strongest storms ever to make landfall, had unbelievably been in the eye of a hurricane, and had lived to tell about it.

The storm's destruction was incomprehensible

Wreckage from Hurricane Camille extended as far as you could see, on every side.
Wreckage from Hurricane Camille extended as far as you could see, on every side.
A beachfront seafood restaurant, before and after Camille.
A beachfront seafood restaurant, before and after Camille.
A flotilla of boats - drydocked by Camille's high waters.
A flotilla of boats - drydocked by Camille's high waters.
One of many boats that ended up out of the water. This one crashed into a house.
One of many boats that ended up out of the water. This one crashed into a house.

The aftermath of 1969"s deadly Hurricane Camille

We were unprepared for the sight that greeted us on Monday morning, August 18th. The entire ground was covered in fallen pine trees. We could not even get the car out of the yard, and had we gotten that far, we couldn't have traveled down the red dirt road my grandparents lived on, because it was impassable. One of my cousins walked to the house in the early hours to make certain we were alive, and as the day went by, somehow people got word to each other to let them know they had made through the storm and whether their houses were still standing.

We had to get back to Keesler AFB, so as soon as there was a path big enough to drive a car through, we headed back to Biloxi, leaving the baby with one of my cousins. There were no phones (no cell phones back then, either), there was no electricity, and the only water my grandparents had to drink was what I had gathered in pots and pans before the storm. That was all the water they had for about a week, until a kindly man in the neighborhood came by with his gas generator and, one by one, let families run their pumps long enough to fill up another supply of water.

The Gulf Coast was like a war zone. Trees were down, power lines were draped eveyrwhere, and as far as you could for a few blocks away from the beach, there was nothing but rubble. Beautiful historic homes were gone, leaving perhaps a piece of pipe sticking up from the ground where a family had once lived. The roller coaster at small amusement park on the highway that ran along the beach was a mass of twisted metal. Entire lengths of train track had been ripped up and, amazingly, twisted out of shape.

Adding to the surrealism, we saw many boats (and even a few ships, along the coast) that had been transplanted by the storm and tossed onto the land.

When we got to our little duplex, it looked like nothing had been touched. There it stood - it had a line of mud and debris about halfway up the outer walls, but it was still standing! However, we had to push open the door, because the couch had floated up against it and jammed it shut. The bed had floated around in the bedroom, and the water, which had been three or four feet deep in the house, had left mud several inches thick on the floor and a layer of mud and silt on any flat surface below the water level.

An almost comical moment was when I spotted the small stack of letters I had put on the end table. There they were, safe from the water, because the table had floated during the storm. The untouched letters looked incongruous next to the muddy shambles we found inside our duplex.

Since our house wasn't livable, we stayed with some friends we'd made just after arriving at the base. Nobody had food, by the way, and of course there were no grocery stores open, so we collected whatever food we could recover from our houses (we had cans of High-C sitting on the floor, and some frozen food that was above the water level). We combined whatever we had on hand and cooked anything that was frozen (since it would soon thaw and spoil), and we lived on it for several days, until the lack of refrigeration made it go bad and we all got sick. The only thing we had to drink was room temperature High-C.

We spent weeks weeks literally shoveling mud out of the house, then hand carrying pails of salt water water up from Back Bay and sloshing them on the floors to clean out the dirt. Then we learned there were germs in the Bay's water (from sewage spilling over, I guess), so we all had to get immunized against whatever was floating in the storm surge.

Slowly, we put our lives together again, still traumatized over being in a killer storm, but glad to be alive. We got the house clean enough to move back into it, so my husband could stay in the tech school that had been our reason for coming to Biloxi.

But I had nightmares for years afterward. While we were still in Biloxi, I would sometimes awaken at night thinking the water was rising in the room, and frightened to realize that water would have been higher than my head was while it lay on my pillow. Rainstorms and heavy wind made me nervous for many years.

Video: Before and after Hurricane Camille storm

The Hurricane Camille Memorial, and a personal memory that stands out in my mind

The Hurricane Camille Memorial.  It was damaged in Hurricane Katrina, but has been restored.
The Hurricane Camille Memorial. It was damaged in Hurricane Katrina, but has been restored.
A flower, placed in tribute to those who died in the storm.
A flower, placed in tribute to those who died in the storm.
Nothing has ever tasted so good as the first glass of water I had after the storm.
Nothing has ever tasted so good as the first glass of water I had after the storm.

Surviving a Category 5 hurricane

I wouldn't sign up to be in another hurricane, but I have to say it was a very interesting experience, and I am glad for those things I learned from it. I learned not to take things for granted. I learned that Mother Nature is more powerful than we can ever imagine. I learned that we can survive just about anything and triumph over us, as long as it doesn't kill us in the process.

I learned how giving people can be - I remember one sweltering day as we crawled along the highway making the slow trip from our friends' house to our watery duplex, all of us pulled our cars to the side as a caravan of trucks came through, honking their horns loudly to clear the way. For as far as we could see, pickup trucks, U-hauls and moving vans were headed into our community, all loaded with mattresses and donations to help those who had lost everything during the storm. Every single one of us who saw this site cheered loudly as the trucks drove by, and many of us had tears in our eyes at the generosity.

I learned that the news media has a heart and can step up and help during bad times (not that I ever questioned that fact). We had no local papers available for several weeks after the storm, since there was no power to run the presses, and people on news staff were dealing with loss and damages of their own. To help keep this small town informed, a newspaper from another city far removed from the storm gathered the stories for us, produced newspapers and airlifted them to us every day until the local paper could operate again. Those newspapers were one of the only ways we could learn what was happening, and we tried to get a copy each day.

I learned that one of the things they don't write about when disasters hit is the stench that lingers for weeks from rotting bodies. Many houses or buildings held animals and sometimes humans that had been killed by the storm. The odor of rotting flesh is indescribable, and the thoughts that haunted us we encountered it were terrifying.

I learned that nothing material here on Earth is that important. Sure, I cried when my dear piano could only respond with sodden groans when I tried to play it; it was ruined, after sitting for hours in several feet of salt water. That was sad, but every day after the storm, I had joy when I ran into friends and acquaintances. The first thing we did during those reunions was to trade hugs and give thanks we were both alive. Most importantly, I felt blessed knowing my child was still with me, and my immediate family was intact. The famlies of 143 people along the Gulf Coast and another 153 in Virginia (which was flooded as Camille cut eastward on her way to the Atlantic) were not as fortunate as I was.

One of my strongest memories, though, is of the first visit we made to a restaurant at the base after the hurricane hit. Somehow, enough supplies had been airdropped to allow the base to open a place where we could eat. We were weary from days spent shoveling mud and moving waterlogged furniture, and emotionally drained from the storm and from going through everything we owned as we threw it out. It felt good to just sit in a chair and have someone bring us real food; a meal that was safe to eat after living on spoiled food for several days.

As I began looking at the menu (there was even a menu!), I looked up just as the waiter placed a clear glass of water before me.

Water! It had been days since I has tasted water.

"For me?" I couldn't believe it. "You mean I can have this whole glass, all to myself?" I wanted to cry. To this day, that glass of water is the most delicious thing I have ever tasted.


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  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile imageAUTHOR

    Marcy Goodfleisch 

    6 years ago from Planet Earth

    Oh, gosh, Mike - yes you know what it was like! I'm guessing you may have been evacuated to the academic buildings - those were 'hurricane proof' and all the housing areas were told to go there. We'd already left the area (by accident) - so we didn't wait it out there. It's definitely a lifelong memory. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • profile image

    Mike Mullins 

    6 years ago

    I too was going to school at Keesler when Camille hit.It is something I will never forget.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile imageAUTHOR

    Marcy Goodfleisch 

    8 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks for your comments here, StormWarrior - what I recall about the wind speeds is that the instruments (measuring wind, not barometric pressure) registered 190-195 mph and then broke. However, personal accounts stated that the storm continued to intensify after the instruments broke, which is why some people feel the storm had winds as high as 205 mph. Having seen tornadoes and tornado (wind) damage since then, I firmly believe Camille indeed had excessive winds at landfall. You are correct that the storm surge was massive, but the inland damage I witnessed was primarily created by wind. The winds were strong enough to twist railroad tracks into a spiral shape (wind damage, not water damage).

    Inland, where we were during the storm, the storm began around the time Camille hit the coast (even though we were 100 miles away), and started out with the feel of an extremely intense and very wind-laden rainstorm. The winds increased steadily for the next several hours. By about 10 p.m., they had reach the 'screaming roar' and 'freight-train' stage.

    That sound was unlike any I had ever before heard and I have never heard it since (even living in Central Texas for decades, and witnessing tornadoes and fierce storms that dump 9-13 inches of rain on us within hours). The winds ripped apart houses, tore roofs away from eaves and knocked down thousands of trees for many miles - all 100 miles inland. The house literally shook for hours, and the windows exploded.

    The 'screaming' sound increased until around maybe midnight or 1 a.m. - and somewhere in that period of time the eye hit. So we were still experiencing a hurricane, that far away. As we often hear of hurricanes, the eye part was eerily silent; the storm stopped completely, as though someone flipped a switch, and then after a few minutes, it started up suddenly and just as strongly. When the the eye passed and the storm hit again, it felt like a wall of screaming wind slamming into us. My husband went out to the car (which was parked next to the entry to the house) to get news on the radio during the brief break, thinking the storm was over. That's how we heard the news reports that the hurricane was passing over our area. Up until then, we thought we were 'just' getting tornadoes from the storm, but the winds were ferociously sustained for several hours. There were tornadoes within the eye, but we didn't get any of those where we were. Camille had to be a very strong hurricane to still have a defined eye that far inland.

    The storm passed (this time, petering out gradually, as storms usually do) around 4-5 a.m. So we had hurricane intensity for about 8-9 hours; not for 24 hours after landfall. The storm that passed through the Eastern part of the U.S. within a few days was said to be Camille as well, and it dumped a lot of rain & created wind damage, but I have no personal knowledge of what was experienced in that area.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile imageAUTHOR

    Marcy Goodfleisch 

    8 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks for your thoughts here, Hurricane Warrior - All I can say is that I saw the damage personally, from as far away as about 100 miles inland. We had extensive damage in the entire area where I survived the storm, with winds well over hurricane level (reported at more than 140-150 mph) that far inland. Since Camille is noted for being one of the most persistently intense storms ever to hit the U.S. coast, I tend to think she maintained her intensity as she hit land and kept it up for many miles.

    At that time in Mississippi, there was little to photograph further inland. Once you got past the stately homes along the beach and the few buildings that exceeded 3-4 stories (there were no high-rise buildings), all you saw were pine trees for many miles. Also, much of what was destroyed was simply gone -wiped away as though it didn't exist.

    Since this article is only meant to describe my personal experience (few people are even in a storm of that intensity, and it was indeed an interesting and terrifying experience), I have no personal comparison to make with Andrew or other storms. I've been around storms that hit here in the Texas coast and moved inland, though, and none have ever come close to Camille.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    My friend claims, "I think some of the inaccuracies in a lot of the older storms came from non-standard reporting methods accepted at the time. In many of the storms in the 50's and 60's, flight-level winds from recon were often reported as peak "surface" win

    ds without any reduction... and in the case of Camille, the last recon flight (which was 15 hours prior to landfall) "estimated" surface winds of 190kt (219mph) which is insane since winds of that magnitude would be almost impossible to estimate visually from flight-level... especially given the flight had a mechanical problem and had to cut the mission short, without ever making an eyewall penetration. That flight also extrapolated a minimum pressure around 905mb, but again this was not a direct measurement. In the post-analysis, the 190kt figure was corrected to 165kt... but it seems like that was done just to keep some continuity with the extrapolated pressure and, in my opinion may have actually reflected "flight-level" winds, instead of "surface" winds. In any event, the last direct measurements by recon were 24 hours prior to landfall and, at that time, the storm was at category five intensity... and it's possible that Camille was even stronger than the 902mb that that mision observed... but, it also seems unlikely that the storm would have been able to maintain that extreme intensity and remain almost steady-state for the following 24 hours. My guess is that weakening was already underway at the time of the last recon flight and, with the mission being cut short, they never got to sample the storm's actual intensity at that point. That said, Katrina and Camille were structurally very different, Katrina having a very large windfield vs. Camille having a relatively small one... which does affect surge height quite a bit. So that point is in Camille's favor since it was able to produce an extremely high surge despite being relatively small. That said, I do agree with you that many of the people who observed Camille's damage (even very notable people like Robert Simpson who was NHC director at the time) seemed to make assumptions about wind speeds, based solely on the observed "surge" damage... which we know today is not reliable at all, but in 1969 was completely plausible. And yes, I also agree that Andrew's landfall intensity is probably a little conservative... if it was up to me, I'd go with 150kt (175mph) or 155kt (180mph)."

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Research on Hurricane Andrew 10 years later showed that the storm was a Cat.5 to make landfall, bumped up one notch on the Saffir Simpson scale that measures intensity of Atlantic Tropical Cyclones. Winds were 165 sustained at landfall, with higher gusts.

    Since then research has been made to Camille with purported winds of 190mph sustained upon landfall due to no instruments being around to directly measure wind speed. If you look at the diagrams of tree damage of Camille to Andrew it's not even close. Andrew photos way more damage to trees inland than Camille does. Camille has many photos of damage that are of storm surge only. You can look in these photos and see the trees behind the surge zone that aren't damaged that bad. Blocks away from the coast of Camille a 944mb pressure was recorded. I find it shocking that no instruments are claimed to be found working but yet there's such a difference from the coast to a few blocks distance.

    If you go back and look at the photographed evidence you will see what I am talking about. I believe Camille to have had sustained winds of 140mph upon landfall, not the exaggerated 190mph that you see listed.

    The 190 mph is reported because a comparison of a storm surge as high as Camille was made to the 1935 Hurricane. There was no other comparison to make for a storm that produced a surge as high as Camille did.

    There's no way that 190mph sustained winds would show damage the way it does outside the zone of the surge. The wind damage would have been greatly seen much further than the storm surge zone.


  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile imageAUTHOR

    Marcy Goodfleisch 

    9 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks so much for your very kind comments, Sam - I'm so glad you like the hub. It was an unbelievable experience in every way - not one I'd want to repeat, but one that gave me a perpective on life and on Nature that I might otherwise not have. I appreciate your words here. And I'd love to know what your research uncovered about that year!

  • sam209 profile image


    9 years ago

    I was doing research on 1969 a few months ago and read about Hurricane Camille! The storm intrigued me enough that I went to youtube and viewed footage of the damage it had done. In my lifetime, I've been through two hurricanes, but none could compare to the storm you had to face!

    I must say this will probably be my favorite hub of the day because of the history you shared! I don't think we can bookmark pages anymore, but this one will be added to my favorites folder!

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile imageAUTHOR

    Marcy Goodfleisch 

    9 years ago from Planet Earth

    Oh, Sunshine - if I'd had to face three more storms in one year after Camille hit, I'd have fallen apart! I so worry about all of you who live near the beach. I know you're experienced with it, and you know what to do, but still . . .

    Thanks for reading and commenting - and stay safe!

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 

    9 years ago from Orlando, FL

    Camille was a wicked one. Her name is retired for sure from the Hurricane Directory! Living in Florida I've been through many hurricanes, but never as bad as the summer of 2004 when we had four hurricances in a 2 month period come over my house. Charlie was the most intense followed by three weaker ones. Those memories are stuck in my head. Thank you for sharing yours!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile imageAUTHOR

    Marcy Goodfleisch 

    9 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, joachimartist - yes, it apparently was life-changing. I hadn't thought of it in those words, but you're right. Thank you for reading and commenting - I appreciate it!

  • joachimartist profile image


    9 years ago from Maastricht (Netherlands)

    A life changing experience I suppose. Well told, as a journalistic view on the catastrophe. Votes up!

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile imageAUTHOR

    Marcy Goodfleisch 

    9 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, Pamela - as you could tell by the hub, our 'evacuation' was purely by accident. Even though they had shelters for us on the base (apparently the academic buildings were built to withstand hurricanes), I was glad we were with my grandparents, so we could help them. We didn't know to save any important items, of course, so we lost more than we would have if we'd still been in the area. However, traffic was backed up for miles the day they realized it would hit Mississippi, so we avoided that problem. Thank you for reading and commenting!

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Thank goodness you evacuated to your grandparents house. What an awful experience. I live on northern FL and we always prepare for hurricane season with canned food, water and we have a generator. We have had horrible storms from the hurricane winds but we have not had one hit us head on. I hope it never happens of course. Your pictures and description made for a very interesting hub. Rated up of course.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile imageAUTHOR

    Marcy Goodfleisch 

    9 years ago from Planet Earth

    You are right about the relative frequency, alocsin, and the destruction is usually worse in a huge hurricane. One thing that helps is that hurricanes are tracked and predicted now, so you can get out of harm's way. It does frighten me to think of disasters that hit with no warning, though. Thanks for your kind words, and for reading and commenting!

  • alocsin profile image

    Aurelio Locsin 

    9 years ago from Orange County, CA

    People who don't live here in Southern California are afraid of earthquakes but those that cause any damage come once in a blue moon. The hurricanes that you get over there come every year and to me are far scarier in the destruction they leave. Sorry you lost your home but glad you came out alive. Voting this Up and Interesting.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile imageAUTHOR

    Marcy Goodfleisch 

    9 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks, Teaches - I remember when Wilma hit. That was quite a year for hurricanes. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub, and I appreciate your comments!

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 

    9 years ago

    We experienced Wilma in 2005 and it was a real eye opener as to what a hurricane can do in such a short time. Yes, after a natural disaster, water is a precious commodity and tastes to good! I truly enjoyed reading your hub and lived every moment of it again with you. Glad that you all survived this massive storm. Thanks for sharing.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile imageAUTHOR

    Marcy Goodfleisch 

    9 years ago from Planet Earth

    Hi, homesteadbound - thanks so much for reading and commenting. Yes, it was unbelievably frightening and stressful. It was an amazing experience, but not one I would want to go through again!

  • homesteadbound profile image

    Cindy Murdoch 

    9 years ago from Texas

    What an amazing story! How awful and scary that must have been. I am glad that you and your family came out safely. I have been very close to tornadoes, but they pass pretty quickly, I cannot imagine going through a storm like this that lasted that long.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile imageAUTHOR

    Marcy Goodfleisch 

    9 years ago from Planet Earth

    Thanks, Debbie - I haven't seen the damage from Katrina, but I know it was devastating. I appreciate your comments!

  • Deborah Brooks profile image

    Deborah Brooks Langford 

    9 years ago from Brownsville,TX

    My brother lives in Biloxi.. they get their share of hurricanes.

    great hub and great pictures.

    voted up



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