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Nostalgia & History > Hurricane Camille 50 years


Date: 08/12/19 16:12
Hurricane Camille 50 years
Author: bakersfielddave

Fifty years coming up this week since this devastated parts of the eastern states and did major damage to railroads  the river bridge at Tye river on the Southern railroad with detours put in place over N & W any one around still here have stories to recall?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/19 19:37 by bakersfielddave.



Date: 08/12/19 16:22
Re: Hurricane Camille 50 years
Author: Jimbo

Yes, it was devastating.  Huge loss of life, especially in Nelson County.

It was the Tye River bridge on the Southern mainline that was washed out.



Date: 08/12/19 17:12
Re: Hurricane Camille 50 years
Author: mcfflyer

I had to look it up, but it's not quite 50 years yet.  Hurricane Camille had landfall on the evening of August 18, 1969.  I remember it well, as even though I'm a California boy, I was visiting relatives in Mobile, Alabama with my mother as part of my high school graduation present, the real present being that I could come back to Redding any route I wanted in a roomette.  I plotted out the L&N Pan American from Mobile to New Orleans, the IC Panama Limited to Chicago, the CB&Q-D&RGW-WP California Zephyr to San Francisco, and finally the SP Cascade home, with the only the first and last steps in this trip being by coach. I was to leave Mobile on August 20, and as you can see from the attached scan, the ticket for the L&N portion of the trip remains in my ticket envelope uncollected.  It was a harrowing night for me, although my Alabama relatives all slept through it, but I was awake most of the night.  I remember stepping outside at about 6:30 the next morning after it had passed, and it was about 88° and 99% humidity.  Like stepping out into a steam bath.  As it turns out, I had to fly on a Southern Airways DC9 and get a cab to downtown New Orleans to start my rail journey.  Still have never ridden between Mobile and New Orleans.

Wow.  50 years ago.  Went up to my 50th Enterprise High School reunion in Redding in June.  Just who are all of those old people?

Lee Hower - Sacramento



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/19 21:03 by mcfflyer.




Date: 08/12/19 19:23
Re: Hurricane Camille 50the Anniversary
Author: CSX602

I was a little kid but remember the cleanup at my grandparents house (which they had been rescued off the roof of in the early morning of August 20, 1969)...  Their house had 12' of water, which left 3' of mud.

Our side of the Blue Ridge (Rockbridge County) was lucky by comparison.  We only got about 12-16" of rain...  The weather forecast that night had been cloudy with 30% chance of showers, all clearing by next morning.  Glasgow ended up with up to 14' of flooding, and Buena Vista 5'+ in the downtown.  The storm washed out the last railroad serving my home town (Lexington)...

Over in Nelson County, where forecast had been the same, they unfortunately got confirmed 27-31" in less than 7 hours.  Unconfirmed reports had estimates over 40".  Entire towns were washed away.  The high Southern Railway trestle over Tye River was left with just the rails dangling between the end piers... the bridge parts about a half mile downstream.  And since all communications had been cut off it was a few days before word got around about how bad it had been there.  Birds in their nests in the tops of trees were found drowned by ornithologists.  Survivors recounted that it was raining so hard the only way they could breath was hold their hands over their faces, and it rained that hard for hours as thunderstorm after thunderstorm trained across the area...

BlueRidgeCountry had the following article back in 1994 on the 25th anniversary https://blueridgecountry.com/archive/favorites/the-storm-that-swallowed-a-county/

From that article:
"So at first no one in Nelson County paid much attention when rain set in about 9:30 on a Tuesday evening...  Then as downpour turned into deluge, the unceasing torrents began to signal alarm.  Relentless skies ran wide open for six hours, delivering an estimated 630,274,867 tons of water over Nelson's 471-square miles... When skies closed down suddenly about 3:30 a.m., Camille had set rainfall records that still stand for Nelson County, for Virginia, the U.S. and the world."



 



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/19 19:24 by CSX602.



Date: 08/13/19 05:17
Re: Hurricane Camille 50the Anniversary
Author: ctillnc

My father and I drove through Mississippi on US 90 about six weeks after the storm. Aside from the devastation, I remember the three ocean ships that were stranded high and dry at Gulfport after riding up on the surge. These were not small vessels (each was 400-500 feet long). Two of them were eventually scrapped in place. In a few places the watermark was more than 22 feet.  

There's a well-known photo of a house that came to rest on top of the L&N, which had 23 miles of its track washed out.



Date: 08/13/19 07:01
Re: Hurricane Camille 50 years
Author: trainnut7

I was in Seabee boot came in Gulfport, MS when it hit.



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