Sunday, September 25, 2005


When Hurricane Rita came ashore early Saturday, its eyewall passed just west of Cameron, La., a town of about 2,000. Hurricane Audrey nearly wiped out the place in 1957, destroying 90 percent of the buildings in Cameron and Lower Vermilion parishes.

Rita's damage seems equally extensive, perhaps a fatal blow to Cameron. Photos from above show universal flooding. The storm surge from Rita in Cameron Parish was 15 feet, two feet higher than Audrey.

Melody Brumble from the Shreveport Times described it this way:
The hurricane swept Holly Beach, a community of crabbing and vacation camps, off the map. Rows of concrete slabs show where houses once stood ... Cameron Parish and the city of Cameron are underwater, with most of the buildings smashed. The courthouse withstood Rita’s worst, but two schools succumbed to the winds.
Almost everyone -- about 90 percent, according to local officials -- evacuated before Rita rumbled ashore. Those who come back will do what their parents and grandparents did after Audrey; what other ancestors did after a 1918 hurricane killed 34; and what others more distant did in Cameron after terrible storms in 1886, 1879 and 1865. They will build again.

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