Remember Last Island, Audrey, Katrina . . . and be prepared

Hither 'n Yon

June 28, 2007 at 11:25 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

It was 50 years ago when the most destructive hurricane in history hit Louisiana’s coast - - until the debacle two years ago.

Hurricane Audrey killed more than 500 people when a huge tidal wave hit the parish of Cameron, a peaceful little fishing village in the southwest corner of our state. Harrowing tales emerged.

There were people trapped in trees, deposited there by the surge from the Gulf of Mexico. Just about every structure was wiped out.

It was the worst storm to hit the coast since the mid 1800s when a hurricane wiped out the resort of Last Island on the coast of Terrebonne Parish. Rich planters from across the state had come to play as they usually did in the summertime.

They were accomodated at a large hotel where a lavish dance was about to take place. Musicians were tuning up their strings and horns for the evening fun. Ladies and gentlemen were getting dressed for the big event.

The breeze was refreshing at first. There was no knowledge then of what was to follow.

The wind grew stronger and stronger and then destruction began to set in. The building started coming apart and the rising waters did the rest. More than 200 died in that debacle.

Last Island is still there and is reached daily by coastal fishermen. There is no permanent habitation. As it was with other coastal areas, it is broken up into several small islands with plenty of room for the eroding Gulf of Mexico waters to get through.

Here we are in the middle of hurricane season two years after the last major debacle. Will we have another 48 years before one comes again?

Maybe so. But don’t plan on it. We all know that hurricanes can’t count the years.

Act as though Katrina came 48 years ago. And be prepared.

View other articles written By Allen Lottinger

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