Hurricane Camille victims remembered at annual ceremony
GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - On the 54th anniversary of Hurricane Camille, the Category 5 storm that ravaged South Mississippi, a service was held at Evergreen Garden Cemetery in Gulfport.
“On August 17, we gather today to remember them,” said Matt Stratton, Harrison Co. Emergency Management Director.
Faith, Hope and Charity are the three unknown victims of Camille.
“We remember them as well as everyone affected by Camille,” Stratton added.
While Faith, Hope and Charity were never identified, their unique status represents the more than 140 others in South Mississippi who perished in the 1969 storm.
“It does symbolize how vulnerable people can be,” said Rupert Lacy, former Harrison Co. EMA director who vividly remembers the storm’s fury. “The question has always been: why didn’t these three ladies leave, and why did they have a comfort level to stay? As we’ve found out, storms have their own personality, and this storm was deadly.”
Camille’s ferocious winds were estimated to be at least 175 mph on top of a nearly 25-foot storm surge at ground zero in Pass Christian.
“Hurricane Camille was one of the most powerful, deadly and destructive storms to hit the United States,” Stratton said.
The Harrison County EMA hosted the ceremony along with Riemann Family Funeral Homes. The official numbers from Camille? 262 dead across four states and $1.4 billion in damages, an equivalent to $11.3 billion in today’s dollars.
“People have to take the hurricane warnings seriously and do the right thing. We run from the water and hide from the wind,” Lacy added.
Click here to subscribe to WLOX News on YouTube: Keep up with South Mississippi news, sports, and local events on our YouTube channel!
Copyright 2023 WLOX. All rights reserved.