Hurricane CamilleView Fullscreen
Hurricane Camille — August 17, 1969
The effect on tourism was minimal to the Coast mainly due to the Camille’s arrival in the off season, but 43 percent of all beachside facilities (hotels, motels, etc.) operating before the hurricane and some 50 restaurants and other eating places were destroyed or severely damaged. Most of the facilities were rebuilt and repaired by the time of the peak season in 1970.
Employment in the coastal area was heavily impacted by Camille with upwards of 50,000 workers having lost their jobs. The total unemployed jumped from 3.4 percent in August of 1969 to 12 percent in September. This high rate of unemployment did not subside back to the pre-Camille rate until August of 1970 or one full year after the hurricane.
Recorded trends in sales within Gulfport, Biloxi, and Harrison County total were similar until about 1969. Since that time, the trends in Gulfport and Biloxi have leveled off compared to an increase for the county as a whole. These data suggest that most of the new economic development after Camille took place in the rural area rather than near the more coastal dwellings which suggests that it proved to be a major stimulus for new economic activity to take place in the rural areas of Harrison County.
At some barrier locations, Camille deposited a wash over terrace seaward of eroded dunes. Terraces were the most common morphological storm impact observed after Hurricane Camille, but the storm also cut the central part of the Chandeleur Islands in Louisiana in several places by channel incision. Inlets caused by this cut may remain open indefinitely or they may remain open for decades before closing as a result of shoaling. Hurricane Camille also caused barrier breaching that bisected Ship Island, Mississippi.
If you wish to view more photographs from the Singing River's "Hurricane Camille Photograph" Collection. Please visit the Mississippi Digital Library.