On the night of August 17, 1969 Hurricane Camille hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Many had scoffed at the forecast of unprecedented high winds and expected a rising tide, but in the early morning hours of August 18th were firm believers. Final data on the storm reported wind velocity in excess of 210 miles per hour and a tidal surge in excess of 24 feet topped with at least a 10 foot sea. Many of those who refused to believe the forecast and stayed at home to ride out the storm lived to regret it. Some did not live through it. The latest survey reveals l34 deaths; 27 missing; 8,931 injured; 5,662 homes destroyed and 13,915 suffering major losses. This is not counting the loss of businesses, other structures, and much of the natural beauty of the Mississippi Coast. The total destruction area of Harrison County alone was 68 square miles. Because of ample warning the death toll was not as high as in some previous hurricanes, but the destruction was unprecedented in United States history to that time.
Deposited in the Local History & Genealogy Department are primary and secondary sources on the subject of Hurricane Camille. Primary sources include: photographs taken along the Mississippi Coast within days of the hurricane; audio recorded interviews with hurricane survivors; a list by name of Camille victims; coverage from the first forecast through months of the aftermath on microfilm of the Daily Herald newspaper (presently the Sun Herald.)
Secondary sources include: published booklets with descriptive text and photographs of heavily damaged sites, with many before and after scenes; vertical files and books on hurricanes that include chapters on Camille. For photograph reproduction policy and other assistance contact
Jane Shambra, Local History/Genealogy Librarian.
Please visit our Photo Archive. This is just a sample of the large collection of the photographs in our History/Genealogy Departments.
Other Hurricane Camille related Links:
Hurricane Camille - Storm of the Century
Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum
Thirty Years After Hurricane Camille