People threw a 'hurricane party' during the strongest named storm in the U.S.

On this day in weather history, Hurricane Camille made landfall in Mississippi

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.


On Sunday, August 17, 1969, Hurricane Camille made landfall over Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, as a Category 5 storm. Camille is the strongest named hurricane to ever hit the United States. Overall, it's the second strongest, next to an unnamed hurricane to hit the Florida Keys in 1935. Camille is one of four hurricanes to make U.S. landfall as a Category 5.


Courtesy of NOAA

On Aug. 14, Camille started as a tropical depression just south of Cuba. The storm quickly developed into a Category 2 storm and hit Cuba. The storm picked up more intensity as it entered the Gulf of Mexico. Camille quickly strengthened into a Category 5 as it headed towards Louisiana and Mississippi.

Richelieu Apartments before Camille

Richelieu Apartments before Camille. Courtesy of Wikipedia

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The storm weakened a bit but regained its intensity as it made landfall on Aug. 17 at 11:30 p.m. As Camille moved inland, it swiftly lost intensity. It was a tropical depression when it moved over Ohio Valley. Camille restrengthened as it moved offshore and finally dissipated on Aug. 22.

The hurricane caused $1.42 billion in damages, which would equal $10 billion in 2020. It produced storm surges as high as 7.3 m. The hurricane destroyed most of Mississippi's coast. It also caused flooding and deaths inland in Virginia.

Richeliu Apartments After Camille

Richelieu Apartments after Camille. Courtesy of Wikipedia

Overall, Camille killed at least 259 people.

One of the most notable stories from Camille is a "hurricane party" that took place on the third floor of the Richelieu Manor Apartments in Pass Christian, Mississippi. The party was located in the direct path of the hurricane's eyewall. The storm destroyed the building and killed 23 out of the 24 party attendees (sources recount varied numbers).

To learn more about Hurricane Camille, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

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This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by The Weather Network that features unique and informative stories from host Chris Mei.

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Thumbnail: Courtesy of NOAA