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Photos: On this day – August 17, 1969 – the most powerful Atlantic Hurricane in history slams the southern US

Posted Aug 17, 2012

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On this day – August 17,1969 – Category 5 Hurricane Camille hits the Mississippi coast, killing 248 people and causing $1.5 billion in damage.

Hurricane Camille was the only confirmed Atlantic hurricane in recorded history to make landfall with wind speeds at or above 190 miles per hour. The actual windspeed of Hurricane Camille will never be known, however, as it destroyed all of the wind recording instruments upon making landfall. It was also the first modern Category 5 hurricane to ever receive a person’s name when making landfall in the United States.

Camille was one of the strongest landfalling tropical cyclones recorded worldwide, and one of only four tropical cyclones worldwide ever to officially achieve wind speeds of 190 miles per hour (310 km/h). The hurricane flattened nearly everything along the coast of the U.S. state of Mississippi, and 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 billion 2012 USD) in damages. To this day, 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. (AP) (Wikipedia)

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