Mississippi Moment: Hurricane Camille vs. Hurricane Katrina

Mississippi Moment

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – With Hurricane Laura churning in the Gulf of Mexico, it’s bringing up memories of Hurricane Katrina.

One of my memories prior to the storm hitting was up until then, the strongest storm to hit the coast had been Hurricane Camille. No one ever though there could be a storm worse than Camille, so there were some people who were just shrugging off Katrina.

Until the wording on the warned changed to read, “We have a Camille-like storm in the Gulf headed this way. Evacuate now.” A lot of people perked up and headed out, but oddly, some took that as a sign that everything was going to be okay.

Linda Aiavolasiti, who works at the Ground Zero Katrina Museum, said, “That I did hear. And unfortunately, that was the cause of several deaths because people say, ‘I made it through Camille. I’m not leaving.’ Nobody expected a Katrina. I mean this was a once- hopefully a once in a lifetime occurrence.”

Katrina was stronger and covered more territory than Camille. Between the winds and the storm surge, 238 people in Mississippi died during Katrina, compared to the 143 killed during Camille.

There are monuments for both Camille and Katrina in Biloxi. For Camille, it’s located where the Church of the Redeemer stood on Highway 90. And for Katrina, it’s in the town green on Highway 90 in downtown Biloxi.

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