It was 1969 when Hurricane Camille made landfall near Waveland, Mississippi. The Category 5 hurricane was the second strongest storm to make landfall in U.S. history. The storm killed 143 people in Mississippi and continued to rip a path north with a final death toll of 256 people.
Historians say the fact that Camille hit land at night made the storm particularly difficult to flee and added to the devastating impact.
Governor Phil Bryant signed a proclamation marking the anniversary and the hurricane’s significance in modern-day tracking and life-saving evacuation practices.
Camille led to the development of the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale which influences how hurricanes are monitored. According to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, the catastrophe marked a turning point in preparedness.
“Through tragedy comes wisdom,” said MEMA Executive Director Greg Michell. “We learned a lot from that tragedy and how to better prepare for and survive the awesome power of mother nature.”
There will be a ceremony to honor the three unidentified victims of Camille at the Harrison County Emergency Operations Center at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday.