1969 HURRICANE CAMILLE EMERGENCY RESPONSE / CIVIL DEFENSE FILM “A LADY CALLED CAMILLE” 50974





Produced by the Department of Agriculture in 1971, this historic film “A Lady Called Camille” documents the devastation caused by Hurricane Camille in 1969 and shows the the suffering it caused tens of thousands of people in Mississippi and through the Southern U.S.. While 259 lives were lost to the hurricane, thousands were saved due to emergency planning, highly trained rescue teams, the Red Cross, and help from the forces of government.

Hurricane Camille was the third and strongest tropical cyclone and second hurricane during the 1969 Atlantic hurricane season. It was the second of three catastrophic Category 5 hurricanes to make landfall in the United States during the 20th century (the others being 1935’s Labor Day hurricane and 1992’s Hurricane Andrew), which it did near the mouth of the Mississippi River on the night of August 17. Camille was the second strongest U.S. landfalling hurricane in recorded history in terms of atmospheric pressure, behind the Labor Day Hurricane in 1935.

The storm formed on 14 August and rapidly deepened. It scraped the western edge of Cuba at Category 2 intensity. Camille rapidly deepened once again over the Gulf of Mexico and made landfall with a pressure of 900 mbar (hPa; 26.58 inHg), estimated sustained winds of 175 mph (280 km/h)[2] and a peak official storm surge of 24 feet (7.3 m). The hurricane flattened nearly everything along the coast of the U.S. state of Mississippi, with enormous storm surge. It caused additional flooding and deaths inland while crossing the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia. In total, Camille killed 259 people and caused $1.42 billion (1969 USD, $9.27 billion 2017 USD) in damages. To date, a complete understanding of the reasons for the system’s power, extremely rapid intensification over open water and strength at landfall has not been achieved.

The response after the storm involved many federal, state, and local agencies and volunteer organizations. The main organization for coordinating the federal response to the disaster was the Office of Emergency Preparedness, which provided $76 million (1969 USD, $403 million 2005 USD) to administer and coordinate disaster relief programs. Food and shelter were available the day after the storm. On 19 August, parts of Mississippi and Louisiana were declared major disaster areas and became eligible for federal disaster relief funds. President Richard M. Nixon ordered 1450 regular troops and 800 United States Army Engineers into the area to bring tons of food, vehicles, and aircraft. Large organizations contributing to the relief effort included the Federal Power Commission, which helped fully return power to affected areas by 25 November 1969. The Coast Guard (then under the Department of Transportation), Air Force, Army, Army Corps of Engineers, Navy, and Marine Corps all helped with evacuations, search and rescue, clearing debris, and distribution of food. The Department of Defense contributed $34 million (1969 USD, $180 million 2005 USD)[13] and 16,500 military troops overall to the recovery. The Department of Health provided 4 million dollars towards medicine, vaccines and other health related needs.

Due to the major destruction and death in much of the Southern United States, the name Camille was retired after the 1969 season, and will never again be used for an Atlantic or Gulf hurricane or tropical storm. The name Cindy was scheduled to replace the name in 1973, although a new ten-year list of names was created for the 1972-1980 Atlantic hurricane seasons

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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com

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