Viewpoint - Katrina and Camille - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Viewpoint - Katrina and Camille

Before there was Katrina...there was Camille.  Two of the most devastating and powerful hurricanes to hit the United States in recorded history...and they both made landfall on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and headed North.  The eye passed right over the Pine Belt and I remember them both vividly.  Camille hit with higher winds and intense ferocity on this day,

August 17, in 1969...with winds of well over 200 miles per hour on the Coast and 125 miles per hour here.  Forty years ago today.   In just over a week we will mark the 4th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  Katrina had a bigger storm surge and lasted a lot longer though the winds were not quite as strong.  It has been called the greatest natural disaster in U.S. history.  Those of us who lived through both and picked up the pieces afterward will never forget either of them.

There have been other hurricanes and storms in the interim-but nothing approaching the scale of Camille and Katrina.  I was in college and working in radio when Camille hit.  For many people my age-a drugged out rock concert in upstate New York called Woodstock was the defining moment of our generation.  I wondered for years why I had no recollection of it when it was going on.  It was only a few years ago that I came to the realization that Woodstock was going on at the same time we were be shellacked by a category five hurricane and dealing with the aftermath for weeks and months.  In South Mississippi...Camille stole the show from the hippies.

In the same month 36 years later Katrina took center stage as the world looked on in horror.  A lot has changed...but the need for those of us in hurricane country to be prepared and vigilant has not.  Here at home...both events saw enough heroism and sacrifice to be classified as a defining moment in the lives of all who went through them.  I'm Jim Cameron.  That's today's Viewpoint.  Let us hear from you.

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